Selective Laser Melting of metals (SLM)

Selective Laser Melting of metals (SLM)

ULTRA FAST Sampling with 3D METAL PRINTING Technology

MICROMET is pleased to offer its Clients the latest innovation in prototype development: Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology for metal powders. Thanks to 3D PRINTING, we can create prototypes and parts directly in metal, ready to be used, with a significant TIME SAVING (just a few hours!) and ELIMINATING THE COSTS of equipment development.

The innovative SLM (Selective Laser Melting) technology is achieved through a layered addition process of metal powders, where the use of a high-temperature laser selectively melts these powders (bronze, stainless steel AISI 316L, etc.), creating the three-dimensional model or prototype.

This allows the construction of parts with very complex geometries and small three-dimensional details with remarkable precision; the products produced are also ready for post-processing such as milling, both aesthetic and protective surface treatments, grinding, and polishing.

What is Selective Laser Melting?

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an advanced technology used in the field of 3D printing.

It is an additive manufacturing process that enables the creation of three-dimensional objects layer by layer. This technology relies on the use of a high-powered laser that melts and solidifies metal powders, thereby creating complex objects with high precision and intricate details.

The Selective Laser Melting Process

  1. Model Preparation: Before initiating the selective laser sintering process, it is necessary to create a 3D model of the desired product using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software.
  2. Material Preparation: The material used in selective laser sintering is in the form of fine powder. This powder is loaded into a reservoir and evenly spread over a build platform.
  3. Laser Scanning: A high-powered laser is used to layer the first powder onto the build platform. The laser selectively melts the powder particles, creating a solid structure.
  4. Adding New Layers: After the creation of the first layer, the build platform lowers slightly, and a new layer of powder is spread on top. The laser then overlaps, melting the particles, adding a new layer onto the previously solidified layer.
  5. Repeating the Process: This cycle of layering and melting individual layers is repeated until the entire object is completed.

Materials Used in Selective Laser Melting

Selective Laser Melting can be used with a wide range of materials, including metals, polymers, and ceramics. Some of the commonly used materials include:

  • Bronze
  • Stainless steel

Advantages of Selective Laser Melting 3D Printing

Selective Laser Melting offers numerous advantages over traditional manufacturing methods. The key ones are:

  • Complex Design: SLM technology enables the creation of objects with complex geometries and highly precise details.
  • Customization: Selective Laser Melting allows the production of customized objects tailored to the specific needs of individual clients.
  • Cost Reduction: Additive manufacturing reduces production costs by eliminating the need to create molds and special equipment for each product.
  • Shortened Production Times: Laser sintering of metals enables the rapid production of objects, particularly useful when clients require samples in very short timeframes.
  • Waste Reduction: Selective Laser Melting uses only the necessary amount of material, reducing waste and contributing to more sustainable production practices.

Applications of Selective Laser Melting

Selective Laser Melting has found applications in various industrial sectors, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and fashion industries.

Specifically within the fashion industry, there are diverse applications. Here are some examples:

  • Metal accessories for leather goods, such as buckles, loops, other components, and trimmings for bags, belts, and small leather goods.
  • Jewelry: SLM enables the creation of customized jewelry with high attention to detail.
  • Metal accessories for footwear, including buckles and various ornaments.
  • Metal accessories for clothing.

Limitations of Selective Laser Melting

Despite its numerous advantages, Selective Laser Melting has some limitations:

  • Object Size: The size of objects that can be produced through SLM is limited by the size of the build chamber.
  • Surface Finish: Objects produced through SLM may require additional processes to achieve a smooth and uniform surface finish.



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