Frequently Asked Questions

What is DMLS or Direct Metal Laser Sintering?

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is a powder-bed additive manufacturing technology that doesn’t require any tooling and is occasionally referred to as SLS (selective laser sintering) or SLM (selective laser melting). The process involves creating metal parts with simple to complex geometries directly from a 3D CAD (computer aided design) file. The DMLS software will then instruct the 3d printer to build the metal part or object layer by layer (between 20-40 microns thick) by fusing metal powder into a solidified state through a directional or focused laser beam.

How soon can I get my 3D printed metal part?

If we get your CAD file in "ready to print" state, then we can deliver your part in 10-15 business days if you are located in Canada or the U.S. Weather conditions may extend the delivery window.

What is the process of printing metal at Axis Prototypes?

1) Receiving your CAD file in .stl format 2) Inspecting the CAD file to ensure compatibility with our DMLS 3d printing machine 3) Importing file into the 3D printer; set & configure parameters 4) Print via direct metal laser sintering 5) Post-processing treatment (if required) 6) Delivery

What machine does Axis Prototypes use for its DMLS printing service?

We currently operate a EOS M270 metal sintering machine that can produce customized metal objects and end-use applications. -M270: 9 x 9 x 7.5’’ (228 x 228 x 190 mm) -Minimum feature size: 0.015’’ (0.38 mm) -Minimum wall thickness: 0.3 mm - 0.4 mm (0.012” - 0.014”) -Thickness of layer: 20 or 40 microns -Typical tolerances: 0.005" on 1st inch, .002" thereafter -Beam thickness: 0.008’’ (0.2032 mm) -Build area: 250 mm x 250 mm x 325 mm (9.85 in. x 9.85 in. x 12.8 in.)

What can I produce using this 3d metal printing service?

DMLS changes the way we can approach design of parts. In the past, one would have to integrate manufacturing considerations while designing a part. There is virtually no limit as to what you can produce using DMLS, a tool-free manufacturing method that benefits numerous companies seeking to expedite their product development cycle while responding to market needs faster. Simply provide us with your CAD file and we’ll take from there.

What services do you provide for finished metal parts and models?

We offer various post-printing treatments like electroplating. See above for more details.

What materials can be processed?

We currently offer in-house GP 1 Stainless Steel, PH1 Stainless Steel, and MS1 Maraging Steel. With our network of collaborators we are also able to assist you with other metals. The range of materials that can be processed by DMLS can be found above.

When should I choose DMLS over other metal manufacturing methods?

If a part cannot be easily stamped, laser cut or machined on a CNC (multiple set-ups, multi-part assembly, complex geometries, curved inner channels) then it may be a candidate for DMLS 3D printing. The design freedom that this technology provides allows you to optimize your design and functions to take advantage of the process capabilities. One of the case studies of a part used by a major aircraft engine manufacturer integrated about 15 individually manufactured parts into a single printed part. Consequently, the DMLS printed part is 25 % lighter, provides improved performance through curved inner channels and optimized flow, is more reliable, and represents a significant life-cycle cost reduction.

Our clients

Over the last 5 years, we have worked with Axis on several mandates of varying complexity. As a business, their capability and execution are exemplary. As a partner, they are knowledgeable, supportive and passionate about the projects they take on. We have been excited to grow our relationship with them in the high regards.

Large Food Storage Manufacturer and Distributor

We would like to thank you for your excellent and rapid services.

Designer and manufacturer of safety products

AXIS is an excellent provider of Rapid Prototyping services. They have always delivered a quality product at a low cost.

Manufacturer of construction tools

Very impressed with the transfer of data and quality of the parts from AXIS.

Manufacturer of public spectator seating

Parts were delivered on time and in perfect shape.

Important entertainment and lighting control manufacturer

Axis Prototypes is a great supplier to work with. They provided more than enough information to make an informed decision on alternatives.

Major US Manufacturer of Fabricated Steel Products

Our customers are addicted to the quality and service that AXIS provides. Over the last 8 years, we’ve built garden tools, mobile computers, beer taps, and prosthetics. We’ve constantly demanded more from our prototypes, and Axis has responded by adding new materials, new equipment and new knowledge. Axis is essential to our business.

Leading Canadian design firm

Once again you have taken top spot. I will never take quotes from any other supplier, due to your outstanding performance. Over and over, your team at Axis has made me shine. Thank you for your excellent support.

Automotive mold and engineering firm

Axis Proto has won our hearts and we can see why your firm came recommended to us. Without a doubt Axis Proto takes it's business serious and quality. Thank you in the highest manner

Human lifestyle innovation company