I’ve said it before, and I’ll most likely say it again: sorting through the ever-increasing variety of 3D printing technologies can be exhausting. Even if you’re pretty well-versed in 3D printing, the array of methods and materials can overwhelm. So many 3D printing technologies are similar, and yet they differ in crucial aspects that make one technology ideal for a particular application, while another method might not suit that application at all.
Understanding exactly how each method works is something that goes beyond a lot of people, too, no matter how familiar they may be with 3D printing in general. Sure, it’s easy to talk about metal 3D printing and what it’s doing for manufacturing, but how many of us can thoroughly explain the exact process that transforms metal powder into a jet engine, for example? Well, that’s what we at 3DPrint.com are here for.
Earlier this summer, we partnered up with Formlabs to deliver an hourlong webinar entitled “How to Choose the Right 3D Printing Technology: FDM vs SLA vs SLS.” The informative, well-received webinar gave viewers an in-depth look at three of the most common consumer 3D printing technologies, discussing their differences, their ideal applications, their advantages and disadvantages, and more. On September 27th, we’ll be offering another webinar, this time focusing on one particular 3D printing method: Direct Metal Laser Sintering, or DMLS.
DMLS is one of the most effective methods of 3D printing metal parts. Its name may sound dull, but Direct Metal Laser Sintering may take us to Mars – it’s one of the prime manufacturing methods being used to produce the 3D printed rocket engines that have been getting the world so excited over the past couple of years. DMLS is playing a huge role in the development of everything from 3D printed cars to 3D printed jewelry, and its impact has been felt in nearly every major industry. So…what exactly is it?
That’s what you’ll learn on September 27th, in the hourlong webinar “Designing for 3D Printing: Direct Metal Laser Sintering,” which will take place at 1:00 PM Central Time. It will be presented by Proto Labs, the multinational service bureau that specializes in – among other technologies – DMLS.
Using Concept Laser’s Mlab and M2 industrial 3D printers, Proto Labs is capable of manufacturing large (up to 246 x 246 x 246 mm for normal-resolution parts, or 88 x 88 x 73 mm for high-resolution components), complex metal 3D printed parts on demand, from both reactive and non-reactive metal powders including aluminum, cobalt chrome, Inconel, titanium and stainless steel. A laser draws onto a surface of atomized metal powder, welding it into a solid, at which point a fresh layer of powder is added, and the process repeats itself layer by layer until a whole part has been built.
“DMLS uses a variety of alloys, allowing prototypes to be functional hardware made out of the same material as production components,” Proto Labs states. “Since the components are built layer by layer, it is possible to design organic geometries, internal features and challenging passages that could not be cast or otherwise machined. DMLS produces strong, durable metal parts that work well as both functional prototypes or end-use production parts.”
In the webinar, which will be presented by DMLS production manager and process engineer David Bentley, you’ll learn more about how DMLS parts are built, as well as the many benefits the technology offers. You’ll also learn how to design for DMLS, plus more about its various applications and how it complements other manufacturing technologies. Registration is free, and you can sign up here. By the end of the hour, you’ll be much more well-versed in this incredible technology – so the next time someone asks you how 3D printing can possibly create rockets, you’ll be able to wow them with your expert response. Discuss in the Designing for 3D Printing Webinar forum over at 3DPB.com.