SELECTIVE LASER MELTING (SLM)

WHAT IS SELECTIVE LASER MELTING?

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is a method of applying additive processes to metal, and is also sometimes referred to as Powder Bed Fusion.

Much like other forms of 3D printing, a printable file and settings are selected for print. The printer begins by setting an even layer of the desired metal powder on the print bed, and a high-powered laser fully melts the metal in the exact areas dictated by the model. The next layer is set and the printer continues to melt and fuse each layer until the print is completed. The SLM print process produces objects that are very dense and strong. Parts can be manufactured using stainless steel, tool steel, titanium, cobalt, chrome and aluminum. Conventional manufacturing has limitations when it comes to the production of complex parts; the additive process overcomes them.

PROS

  • Large range of materials
  • Ability to tune properties
  • Increased functionality
  • Relatively low cost
  • High resolution (near net shaped components)
  • High quality control

CONS

  • Size restricted to build volume
  • High power requirements
  • Some post processing required

SLM is being used in an increasing range of industries across the globe, with companies small to large redefining their products to make them more efficient and effective. Some common areas of application include:

  • AEROSPACE
    Air ducts, fixtures or mountings holding specific aeronautic instruments, laser-sintering fits both the needs of commercial and military aerospace
  • AUTOMOTIVE
    The combination of material density and additive design flexibility is allowing car manufacturers and parts providers across the world to reinvent auto parts ranging from pistons to brake calipers in innovative ways and with surprising results.
  • MANUFACTURING
    SLM can serve niche markets with low volumes at competitive costs. It is independent of economies of scale which liberates the user from achieving batch size optimization.
  • MEDICAL
    Medical devices are highly precise, complex, high value products. This leads to a multitude of varieties and thus small volumes of the variants offered.
  • TOOLING
    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.

    ….and so much more

i3D AND EPLUS3D SLM PRINTERS

Among the growing list of SLM printer producers, i3D has chosen to offer the complete line of Eplus3D SLM printers, from the smallest EPM150 to the truly majestic EPM650. This decision was not undertaken lightly, as it was important that the equipment be

  • VERSATILITY
    The EPM series is powder agnostic, and can be equipped and operated with software of choice.
  • RELIABILITY
    The EPM series is designed to provide the best, uninterrupted prints in the most intuitive, easy to use process
  • COST EFFICIENT
    For what it offers, the EPM series is the most cost efficient SLM printer currently available.
  • SUPPORT
    The Eplus application and technical engineers are among the best in the world and constantly available to provide assistance

EP-150 (click picture for more information)

EP-M250 (click picture for more information)

EP-M450 (click picture for more information)

EP-M650 (click picture for more information)


SELECTIVE LASER MELTING vs. DIRECT METAL LASER SINTERING

Though it is growing in popularity and use, SLM is not the only method of metal 3D printing.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering is another method. Instead of heating the metal to liquefaction, it is heated to slightly above the melting point. This allows the metal to bond on a molecular level, essentially ‘baking’ the metal print, much like a ceramic vase in a kiln. SLM and DMLS offer similar results, but there are some differences. SLM parts are typically more dense than DMLS components, whereas DMLS normally requires less power and since the sintering process does not melt, you can print from alloys containing materials with different melting points. You can even combine metal and plastic materials. A good example is Alumide, which is a mixture of nylon powder + aluminum powder.


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EP-M150

The EP-M150 is a compact SLM metal 3D printer, that offers a perfect synergy of affordability, stability and high consistency.

The build chamber is 150x150x120mm, and features a customizable height.  Automated process parameter verification and optimized gas flow system guarantees the consistent parts quality and stable production, which reaches almost 100% density and extremely high accuracy and final part geometry.  The EP-M150 also features a relatively compact design, is low maintenance and perfected suited for use is a wide range of industries including aeronautics, tooling and molding, medical, automotive and other high-end applications.

EP-M150 VARIANTS

EP-M150T Dental Metal 3D Printer:   Features 150mm x 150mm x 80mm build size, one-click print and and fast production speed.  Professionally print dental metal crowns, bridges, brackets with improved powder feeding and sieving system enables a high material utilization rate, which is more than 550 crowns printed only by 1kg powder Optimized chamber structure and excellent sealing properties minimize gas consumption <0.2L/min(printing period is 0.3±0.1MPa).

EP-M150Pro:  Features a 150mm x 150mm x 240mm build size, and adopts the patented MPBF™(Metal Powder Bed Fusion)to produce high performance, high accuracy and high details parts. The EP-M150Pro available in optional single/dual laser system, and 200/500W laser source configurations for different production requirements. Available materials include aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, Inconel alloys, maraging steel, stainless steels, CoCr, copper alloys and more...

First Class Results

Highly Practical

Low Cost Operation

   
User Experience Commercial/Academic
Manufacturer/ModelShining3DE150
TypeSelective Laser Melting
Build Volume2.7 litres
Build Dimensions150mm x 150 mm x 120mm5.9" x 5.9" x 4.7"
Laser Power Single 200W/500W Fiber laserDual-2*200W (Available)
Scan Speed8 meters/second
Spot size40-60 µm
Layer Thickness20-100 µm
Build Accuracy±0.08% x L(L≥100mm)
±0.08mm x L (L≤100mm)
Max Build Speed12 cm³/hr (single laser system)Dual laser available
ScanningHigh precision galvanometer
Gas Chamber CompositionNitrogen, Argon
≤100 ppm Oxygen content
MaterialsTitanium Alloy, Aluminum Alloy, Nickel Alloy, Maraging Steel, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Copper Alloy, many more.
Control Software and InputEPlus 3D Printing Software
Data Format*.stl or other compatible file
Power Requirement220V, 12A 50-60Hz, 3.5KW
Outside Dimensions1750mm x 750mm x 1900mm68.75" x 29.5" x 78.75"
Machine Weight900kg1,984lbs

EP-M250

The EP-M250 is a mid-range sized SLM metal 3D printer, that offers a perfect synergy of affordability, stability and high consistency.

The build chamber is 262x262x370mm.  Automated process parameter verification and optimized gas flow system guarantees the consistent parts quality and stable production, which reaches almost 100% density and extremely high accuracy and final part geometry.  The EP-M250 also features a relatively compact design, is low maintenance and perfected suited for use is a wide range of industries including aeronautics, tooling and molding, medical, automotive and other high-end applications.

EP-M250 VARIANTS

The EP-M250Pro: is a dual-laser equipped metal 3D printer that uses advanced MPBF™(Metal Powder Bed Fusion) technology for metal additive manufacturing with high productivity and high consistency. Machine building chamber size is 262x262x370mm. The Innovative module design not only ensures the stability and safety of the machine operation, but also help our customer with easy maintenance and transportation.

 

Contact Us for More Information

First Class Results

Highly Practical

Low Cost Operation

   
User Experience Commercial/Academic
Manufacturer/ModelShining3DE250
TypeSelective Laser Melting
Build Volume24 litres
Build Dimensions262mm x 262 mm x 350mm10.3" x 10.3" x 13.7"
Laser Power 500W Fiber laserSingle and Dual laser available
Scan Speed8 meters/second
Spot size70 µm
Layer Thickness20-100 µm
Build Accuracy±0.08% x L(L≥100mm)
±0.08mm x L (L≤100mm)
Max Build Speed15-35 cm³/hr (single laser system)25-55 cm³/hr (dual laser system)
ScanningHigh precision galvanometer
Gas Chamber CompositionNitrogen, Argon
≤100 ppm Oxygen content
MaterialsTitanium Alloy, Aluminum Alloy, Nickel Alloy, Maraging Steel, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Copper Alloy, many more.
Platform Heating System*Optional* Heating platform - heats to 200 degrees Celsius
Control Software and InputEPlus 3D Printing Software
Data Format*.stl or other compatible file
Power Requirement380V, 20A, 50/60Hz, 14KW
Outside Dimensions3500mm x1300mm x2300mm137.75" x 51.1" x 90.5"
Machine Weight1700kg3,747lbs

EP-M450

Boasting a build volume of 455mm x 455mm x500mm, the EP-M450 couples the high output requirements of large build volumes with high performance and high accuracy, and is an excellent addition to the successful line of MPBF™ 3D printers. The complete open system makes EP-M450 a very powerful tool for larger scale production for users seeking to produce using a wide range of metal powders like titanium, aluminum, nickel alloys and stainless steel, etc

The EP-M450 features:

 

Contact Us for More Information

First Class Results

Highly Practical

Low Cost Operation

   
User Experience Commercial/Academic
Manufacturer/ModelShining3DE450
TypeSelective Laser Melting
Build Volume103 litres
Build Dimensions455mm x 455 mm x 500mm17.9" x 17.9" x 19.6"
Laser Power 500W Fiber laserSingle and Dual laser available
Scan Speed8 meters/second
Spot size70 µm
Layer Thickness20-100 µm
Build Accuracy±0.08% x L(L≥100mm)
±0.08mm x L (L≤100mm)
Max Build Speed15-35 cm³/hr (single laser system)25-55 cm³/hr (dual laser system)
ScanningHigh precision galvanometer
Gas Chamber CompositionNitrogen, Argon
≤100 ppm Oxygen content
MaterialsTitanium Alloy, Aluminum Alloy, Nickel Alloy, Maraging Steel, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Copper Alloy, many more.
Platform Heating System*Optional* Heating platform - heats to 200 degrees Celsius
Control Software and InputEPlus 3D Printing Software
Data Format*.stl or other compatible file
Power Requirement380V, 20A, 50/60Hz, 14KW
Outside Dimensions5500mm x3300mm x3100mm216" x 129.9" x 122"
Machine Weight10,300kg22,700lbs

EP-M650

Using MPBF (Metal Powder Bed Fusion) technology, the EP-M650 is currently the largest SLM printer in the Eplus line with a build envelope of 655mm x 655mm x 800 mm and a four laser systems to ensure a high efficiency printing production.

The precise positioning and innovative area splicing control technology hereby offers uniformity and stability throughout the whole printing phase. The system is compatible with a wide variety of metal powders such as titanium-, aluminum- and nickel-based alloys, die steel, stainless steel, chrome cobalt Alloys and other materials.  It is suitable for the direct manufacturing of large-size, high-precision and high-performance parts in the aerospace, automotive and defense industry.

The EP-M650 features:

 

Contact Us for More Information

First Class Results

Highly Practical

Low Cost Operation

ModelEP-M650
Forming chamber655x655x800mm
LaserFiber Laser, 4*500W
Spot80-120μm
Molding speedUp to 120m³/h
MaterialsTitanium alloy, aluminum alloy, high temperature nickel base alloy, die steel, stainless steel, cobalt chromium molybenum powder
Substrate heatingSubstrate heating temperature 200°C
Power consumption380V, triphase, five wire, 50/60Hz, 25kW, 65A
Protective gasDouble interface of nitrogen and argon
Forming chamber oxygen content<100ppm
Dimensions5700x3000x4500mm
Weight16,000kg
SoftwareEP-Hatch, E-Plus 3D
Data formatSTL or other compatible format