Tag Selective Laser Melting

Metal 3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing. One of the main technologies is Selective Laser Melting (SLM), how does it work? Here is a brief explanation:

SLM is a metal additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology often interchangeable with the term direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). However, the two are slightly different, SLM is used to melt pure metals while DMLS is used to melt metal alloys.


SLM is one of the compelling 3D printing technologies, suitable for rapid prototyping and mass production, using various metal alloys. The final product has properties comparable to conventional manufacturing processes.

SLM is similar to SLS in that it is performed under the powder bed fusion layer. However, SLM is specialized for metals, while SLS is mainly used for nylon (PA) polymers.

In SLM, metal powder is evenly distributed on the substrate by a coater blade. A high-power laser melts the powder layer by layer and builds up the component layer by layer.

It is important to note that SLM requires the addition of support structures to support overhanging features, unlike SLS where the powder material provides adequate support.

Advantages of SLM include multiple metal options, realization of complex shapes and internal features, no tooling required, merging of parts, etc. However, it also has disadvantages such as being expensive, requiring specialized skills, suitable for smaller parts, rough surfaces and post-processing.

In the future, SLM will be widely used in medical, automotive, aerospace, tools and other fields, and its use cases will continue to expand as the technology matures and costs decrease.

Metal 3D Printing: How Does it Work

Metal 3D printing

Table of Contents What is Metal 3D Printing Metal 3D Printing Process Designing the Object Preparing the CAD File Material Selection Preparing the Printer Printing the Object Post-Processing How Does it Work? Binder Jetting Selective Laser Melting Wire Arc Additive…

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