Do you have a metal design in mind that you think is impossible to build? Let us turn your ideas into reality with our DMLS 3D printing service.
This technology offers exceptional strength and functionality, allowing us to produce high-quality parts, with 99%+ density. Our team will engage with you at any stage of your product development and perform the necessary technical procedures to help you build an outstanding final metal part.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering – or DMLS for short– is a 3D laser-based additive manufacturing method. It consists of creating metal additively by sintering fine metal powders, to fuse them together locally. This 3D printing technology allows to create fully dense metal parts, with no upfront setup or tooling costs.
DMLS technology is suitable for producing meticulous metal parts, with exceptional mechanical properties and precision. With the help of our metal experts, we deliver highly precise metal parts with complex features, using high-calibre DMLS machines and a variety of materials.
The first step is to create a digital 3D model of the part that has to be printed, using a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and STL file. The technician uses this 3D model to properly align the geometry and add support structures. The digital model is then loaded into a slicing program that will analyze it and create instructions that the 3D printer will use to build the finished part layer-by-layer.
Support structures are often used to anchor the part to the build platform, and draw some heat away to allow for stable, controlled cooling, and prevent warping. DMLS parts move around in the build envelope if not properly secured to the build platform. This movement can cause failures in part accuracy and could potentially lead to machine crashes.
Furthermore, complex designs require more support as they may contain more arches, curves, large holes and overhangs. Nevertheless, using support structures does not impact the quality of the print. They are made from the same material as the part and will be manually clipped off in post-processing, leaving no marks in the final printed part.
The print run is now initiated. This step begins with heating the build chamber to just below the material’s melting point and filling it with inert gas in order to prevent the oxidation of the metal powder and preserve the quality of the metal. Similarly to the SLS process for plastics, a thin layer of powder is then spread across the building area.
Following the points defined by the CAD model, a powerful laser in the 3D printer starts to sinter the powder. Once the first layer of the 3D printed part is done, the build platform lowers itself by one layer height and the recoater blade moves across the platform to deposit the next layer of powder into the inert build chamber.
The process of distributing the metal powder, evenly, through the build platform and the laser sintering the powder into solid, is repeated until the part is completed.
After the build process is done, the part needs to cool down to room temperature. Removing the loose powder, manually, follows. The excess of powder can be reused in future printing operations, minimising the waste of materials.
Before detaching the part, the appropriate heat-treat cycle is administered to relieve any stresses. The final steps include removing the part from the build plate, then removing support structures.
The final metal piece may need to undergo varying levels of finishing like bead blasting and deburring for function and esthetic requirements, because the printing process creates parts with grainy surface texture.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is revolutionizing many industries because it can produce customized parts with few restrictions to geometrical designs. Unlike CNC machining or casting, our DMLS printing service is very advantageous as it allows our clients to have design freedom and build parts in a shorter time.
Strict thermal, weight reduction and complex, dense parts are all requirements in Aerospace industries. These requirements are easily achievable with the DMLS printing technology. From Aircraft Rapid Prototyping to Spacecrafts and Rockets manufacturing, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) allows to build intricate, incredibly durable, consistent and cost-effective metal parts that are difficult or impossible to fabricate with other manufacturing methods.
Components of satellites and rockets must perform consistently at high temperatures. Our DMLS machines are capable of producing flight-qualified, end-production parts for aerospace applications.
DMLS technology is used in the fabrication of human implants directly from computer-aided design (CAD). It helps meeting the patient’s specific anatomic needs which reduces the risk of problems normally caused by ill-fitted implants. Customization of parts is a great benefit provided by DMLS technology.
Custom implants make the surgery less complex and reduce the need for secondary revision procedures such as flap repositioning. Moreover, CAD surgeries have the potential not only to reduce surgical time, but also, to reduce prosthesis-related complications. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) has proven to be a useful way to build prostheses for major reconstructive surgeries.
Waveguide-based components and antenna-feed chains are complex radio-frequency assemblies, used in applications such as imaging, satellite communications, navigation and earth observations. DMLS technology offers advantages in terms of the realisation of complex shapes, lighter weights, through hollow or lattice structures, with enhanced structural strength.
Microwave and antenna engineers can now use DMLS printing technology to design waveguide-based components, with high levels of efficiency and accuracy. This technique offers the flexibility to fabricate complicated microwave structures and antennas with good reliability and high precision.
Due to a wide range of applications, materials, flexibility and low complexity in the manufacturing process, DMLS technology is transforming the automotive industry. This 3D printing method contributes in speeding up the design phase since it’s used in early stages to create miniatures components. This process enables testing of forms and functionalities for designers.
Using DMLS manufacturing technology in the automotive industry not only allows producing advanced designs and shapes, but it also raises the capabilities to produce consolidated, durable parts in a very short time. Optimized geometry enables a weight reduction in the final part which is required in producing cars with an internal combustion engine.
Following the patient’s dentition and oral anatomy, strong and durable bridges, crowns, partial dentures, and dental prosthetics can be custom-made, using DMLS. This technology guarantees a density of 99+ % which makes dental prosthetics highly accurate and very consistent. Besides being moderate in weight, computer-aided design (CAD) precision gives excellent fitting, high strength and rigidity, allowing a secure crown fixing.
Compared to conventional casting procedures, DMLS allows dental technicians to dramatically increase the number of crowns and bridges created in 24 hours, with higher quality and efficiency. This means that, for the dentist, time is reduced in both the chair side and the dental laboratory.
Rapid prototyping is used to test the efficiency of a part and validate the final design and manufacturing. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology is perfect for building fully dense metal parts while creating a time advantage. Moreover, it offers design freedom in the case of complex structures and improves the functionality of the prototypes, which would not have been possible with conventional prototyping methods.
Furthermore, DMLS can be used for rapid tooling, printing versions of the model at different design stages, and being able to test and optimize the tool much faster. Rapid tooling helps reduce development and production steps, which leads to faster time-to-market and lowers costs.
Are you looking for the perfect metal 3D printing material for your project? We provide you with some of the best materials, excellent for DMLS printing technology and ideal for tooling applications across many industries.
LPW 155 Stainless Steel
Used in medical applications and for complex tooling inserts, this stainless steel material is tough and resistant to heat and oxidation, making it ideal for functional prototyping and manufacturing small series products. Parts show a fair corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties. These features make the material suitable for producing solid parts in several industries. Compared to other metal 3D printing materials, Stainless Steel remains the smoothest one. Is this the ideal material for a product you have in mind?
LPW M300 Tool Steel
Employed in direct manufacturing of heavy duty injection molds and inserts, and for moulding thermoplastics, maraging steel allows for high precision metal prototypes resulting in greater cost and time savings. It is also used for high performance industrial and engineering parts, for example in aerospace and motor racing applications.
M300 Tool Steel has excellent mechanical properties and is easily heat-treatable. It is characterized by its excellent strength and high toughness. Do you need a bespoke Tool Steel part for your project?
Are you looking to implement any of these advantages into your future projects to build stronger, faster and more accurate items with minimized waste? Talk to our experts on how we can help you starting today.
The goal of our company is to meet the needs of our clients in the time frame required. Therefore, we provide you with bleeding-edge technologies, offering you a new way to design, develop and manufacture your products. Thanks to our expertise in DMLS technology, we can find solutions according to each client specifications.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is an effective production choice for delivering complex designs with top quality and precision. This technology eliminates the costs and time needed to produce accurate, fully dense, high definition metal parts, allowing to accelerate the qualification and optimize stages of product development.
Currently, Axis operates an EOS M270 metal sintering machine that can produce customized metal objects and end-use applications. With the help of our 3D metal printing experts and the use of this high-performing machine, we are capable of delivering incredible, highly detailed functional parts, more quickly while eliminating time-consuming tooling, which was not possible with traditional manufacturing methods.
If you require the production of a fully dense metal part, with complex design, then DMLS technology is perfect for you. Let us help you with the 3D printing process and get your product out in the market as soon as possible.
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