DMLS Applications

  • Aerospace
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical
  • Prototyping
  • Tooling

Using laser-sintering aerospace parts can be created quickly and straightforwardly using 3D CAD data. In aerospace, e-Manufacturing with laser-sintering can add value where complexity and individuality coincide. Take air ducts, fixtures or mountings holding specific aeronautic instruments, laser-sintering fits both the needs of commercial and military aerospace. e-Manufacturing can be utilized in product development, for example laser-sintering prototypes quickly and flexibly. Manufacturing end parts by laser-sintering for special purpose or classified parts is an economically viable solution. Especially in aerospace, e-Manufacturing is readily embraced, as time is what matters most.

Laser-sintering is a technology for manufacturing end products. The flexibility inherent in this mode of manufacturing is ideally suited to implementing customer-specific requirements. All you need are 3D CAD data. These can be provided by the customer himself. As a result, you can serve niche markets with low volumes at competitive costs. Laser-sintering is independent of economies of scale. This liberates you from focusing on batch size optimization. Your focus can shift to current demand for a product customized to the specific wishes of the individual customer. With laser-sintering you no longer have to anticipate customer demand. You can manufacture when the customer wants you to – in extreme cases one piece at a time. Tool-less production with laser-sintering makes it possible to manufacture different products, one next to the other, in one single process. Since laser-sintering does not require lengthy lead times, you can respond to individual customer demand very quickly and cost-effectively. This makes laser-sintering a viable manufacturing alternative.

EOS offers a wide range of materials for DMLS (Direct Metal Laser-Sintering). Particularly for the medical device industry there are materials available such as stainless steel, titanium and superalloys like cobalt chrome. When it comes to applications in the medical sector, proof must often be provided of the origins and composition of the material used. As such, a seamless traceability and documentation is very important when using e-manufacturing via laser-sintering.

e-Manufacturing with laser-sintering can give you a competitive edge. For example, in the medical device industry, e-Manufacturing with laser-sintering can add significant value. Medical devices are complex, high value products. They have to meet customer requirements exactly. These requirements do not only stem from the operator’s personal preferences: legal requirements or norms that differ widely between regions also have to be complied with. This leads to a multitude of varieties and thus small volumes of the variants offered. Medical devices are subject to short innovation cycles. This results in shortened product life cycles. Sales demand is hard to anticipate. Changes in reimbursement policies or natural disasters can further add to the unpredictability of market demand. Laser-sintering technology is perfect for manufacturing prostheses or implants. In this case, the patient's individual anatomy is the key factor. Meeting the patient's specific anatomic needs reduces not only the length of time spent in hospital, but also the risk of problems normally caused by ill-fitting implants. This reduces healthcare costs. A flexible mode of manufacturing that, for example, produces hundreds of individual dental crowns in one batch, offers a continuous competitive edge. Laser-sintering is capable of this.

In the early stages of product development, laser-sintering can help by making design and functional prototypes available. As a result, functional testing can be initiated quickly and flexibly. At the same time, these prototypes can be used to gauge potential customer acceptance. Internal communication within and between teams can be facilitated by the availability of product models. This results in reduced time to market and shortened reaction times to current customer demands. Gradually, the risks involved in developing new products decrease, because problems can be detected sooner and be directly addressed. Development costs are reduced, and at the same time, consumer response is accelerated.

DMLS is well known as a leading technology for toolmaking. With its high accuracy and surface quality, the EOSINT M 270 & EOSINT M 280 are ideal platforms for this application. The direct process eliminates tool-path generation and multiple machining processes such as EDM. Tool inserts are built overnight or even in just a few hours. Also the freedom of design can be used to optimize tool performance, for example by integrating conformal cooling channels into the tool. Increasingly, both strategies are combined to create improved performance in shorter time. DirectTool is best known for plastic injection moulding. However, the technology is also used for other tooling types including blow moulding, extrusion, die casting, sheet metal forming etc.