DMLS, or direct metal laser sintering, applies a high-wattage and precise laser to fuse powdered metals and alloys, creating fully functional metal components based on your CAD data. DMLS prototyping allows you to remove time-consuming aspects in product development, such as tooling. Moreover, it allows you to build objects with complex geometries cost-effectively and quickly from a range of materials, such as aluminum, titanium, copper, stainless steel, and tool steel.
DMLS 3D printing continues to evolve to keep up with changing requirements in every industry. Leading service providers are up-to-date with the trends and technologies to offer the best results and optimum value to every client.
Some of the most significant developments in DMLS prototyping is its ability to fulfill medical device requirements. The technology is proven useful in making mission-critical parts. However, companies are trying to improve the process to minimize flaws.
One of the challenges with DMLS 3D printing is printing smooth surfaces and safely using finer, nano-sized metal powders. With further developments, manufacturers should be able to improve the process and make micro-sized parts possible for creating more compact, state-of-the-art medical devices.
Here are more updates from various companies revolutionizing DMLS prototyping.
Digital metal technology
Höganäs, a Swedish company, offers a Digital Metal technology that builds parts with precision inkjet on the powder bed, using a MIM-type oven to realize high-resolution and smooth components. The process does not require support structures and sintering but can still achieve complex geometries for custom buttons, gears, and levers.
XJet, an Israeli firm, created a NanoParticle Jetting technology that makes it possible to build DMLS prototypes with smooth surface finishes and thin walls. The process uses nanoparticles suspended in liquid to create three-dimensional metal parts.
DMLS 3D printing for medical devices
Ulrich Medical USA, a privately held medical company, made waves for its one-of-a-kind, FDA-approved product called Flux-C, a 3D-printed porous titanium cervical interbody device. DMLS prototyping was involved in developing the interbodies in several lordotic and parallel options at varied heights. The large graft and side windows on the devices enable enhanced radiographic imaging.