|DMLS Metal Printing|
Not all 3d metal printing processes are equal. In the industry there exists two major methods for 3d printing metals. Here I will explain the basic differences and advantages with DLMS 3d metal printing over traditional metal sintering. Both involve powdered metals and similar steps but produce dramatically different results.
The first and most common method is simple binder/glue metal sintering. Sintering is a process defined by building-up, melting, or binding layers of powder to produce 3d objects. For metals done with this process., The machines work much like ink jet printers. Layers of stainless steel metal powder are glued together one at a time by precise jets of binder liquid. Then dried in hot air.
This produces a very fragile model which then must be infused with a second metal such as bronze. This step makes the part not pure steel and weaker than what would be expected from stainless steel. The fragile part is baked at 2000+ degrees. At this time the additional metal (bronze) is soaked-up by the metal part.
This fills the part with the second metal. Strengthening and binding the lightly glued part together. Parts 3d printed with this method do not have the true strength and rigidity of pure stainless steel. Below is a video showing this rather lengthily metal sintering process.
Kraftwurx offers both the first and a second greater option for 3d metal printing. DLMS, Directed Laser Metal Sinterng. In this process there is no glue, binder or secondary metal used in the production of the part.
With DLMS 3d metal printers. Stainless Steel metal powder is melted or "sintered" with a laser beam. One ultra thin layer at a time. The DLMS method produces far greater detail and smoother surface finish than traditional metal glue sintering processes. The completed parts do not require baking or secondary metals to be infused into the part.
DLMS 3d printed models are not porous or brittle as with basic metal sintering. DLMS produces pure stainless steel parts with all the strength expected of true stainless steel. True DLMS is currently the greatest available method for 3d metal printing. Many metals are avaible for DLMS 3d metal printing on Kraftwurx.com. Including Bronze, Inconel, Nickelalloy, Stainless Steel, and more. Below you can see a few videos of the DLMS 3d metal printing process. Sparks are visible where the laser is fusing the metal powder upon contact.