Layer for layer: Laser sintering – a fascinating technology!
2014-03-27 | Corporate
DMLS stands for Direct Metal Laser Sintering and refers to a production process implemented at Anton Paar for generating large high-quality metal components in manufacturing. With this generative production method Anton Paar again proves to be a pioneer in technology trends.
In laser sintering, highly complex components which are difficult or impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing technologies can be directly produced from 3D geometry data. You require no tools for geometry determination, like you would in vacuum investment casting or machining. This means that even the most complex structures and high-strength lightweight structures can be realized, such as undercuts, ribbings, functional elements and more.
The initial material is a metallic powder of various grain fractionation and of different alloys: from iron-based materials to aluminum and stainless steel alloys to nickel- and titanium-based materials. This powder is spread with standard layer thicknesses from 20 µm to 50 µm on a base plate and completely melted using a laser beam. An Ytterbium fiber laser with 400 Watt medium power is employed. Layer for layer, the component is built up until it is completed. At Anton Paar laser sintering and conventional manufacturing techniques like milling and turning are combined and used to complement each other with high precision. This has already resulted in a number of inquiries from companies in the fields of aeronautics and medical technology.
Laser sintering of metallic components solve problems in many industries. Here are some examples:
- Rapid Prototyping & Rapid Manufacturing (ready-to-use single or serial components),
- the automotive industry,
- aviation and aerospace (light construction, functionalities),
- tool manufacturing,
- plastics engineering (form-fitting cooling channels, …),
- medical technology (implants, bone screws, ...),
- lifestyle products,
- the jewelry and watchmaking industry,
- special-purpose machine engineering,
- industry (extraction technology, robotics, …)