Laser-sintered DMLS parts have been steadily embraced by the aerospace industry because of the time-savings factor DMLS offers. Engineers have embraced the idea of additively manufacturing assemblies in addition to parts to save on tooling time and cost. New, high-temp materials that lend themselves to the aerospace industry are now available. These include Inco 625, Inco 718, 316L SS, Cobalt Chrome and Hastelloy X. Lightweight materials, such as Titanium 64 and Aluminum, are excellent materials for the Space industry and offer significant cost and weight savings.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering can also produce end-use products, especially in niche markets where customer demand is individual. Because DMLS doesn’t require tooling, parts can be additively manufactured only when needed. This gives the design engineer time to make minor or major tweaks to a part without having to worry about expensive tooling or re-tooling changes. And with the fast lead times DMLS offers, you won’t have to wait long to take delivery of your new design whether it’s for prototype or production.
Unlike most additively manufactured plastic materials, DMLS materials are very comparable in their properties to machined or cast parts. This allows for broad prototyping use in the desired material without sacrificing any of the properties. When added up with a single-day lead time, functional testing and marketing can be obtained quickly, and your product time to market can be expedited. As DMLS is used more often, the risks involved with bringing products to market on a larger scale are decreased.
A handful of ideally suited medical alloys are available. These include 17-4 PH, 15-5 PH, Cobalt Chrome and Titanium 64. Whether the application is for surgical tools or implantable grade material, DMLS addresses the material need. For these super complex geometries, machining or casting has been the traditional option. But with DMLS, parts can be made in days. All DMLS alloys can be finish machined and can endure EDM in the event tight tolerances need to be achieved. DMLS alloys can also be polished to achieve certain finishes. Dental crowns can also be laser sintered using DMLS.
DMLS is secretly yet broadly being used to produce conformal cooling inserts. These laser sintered DMLS inserts can be designed with internal passages that can only be additively manufactured into a part as opposed to milling or EDM. When applied correctly, the conformal cooling insert, will reduce molding cycle time by as much as 30%. MS1 is a material that performs well in high-run molding applications. It is high in iron content and polished extremely well.