SLM (Selective Laser Melting), also known as laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) or direct metal laser melting (DMLM), is an advanced 3D printing technology that uses lasers to melt metallic powders layer by layer until the final part is complete. This process creates highly complex and intricate metal parts with superior strength and durability. One of the main benefits of SLM is its ability to produce parts with geometries and internal structures that would be impossible to achieve through traditional manufacturing methods. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for designers and engineers, particularly in aerospace, automotive, medical, and other industries where highly complex parts are required. Another advantage of SLM is the quality of the final product. The metallurgical properties of SLM-produced parts are often superior to those produced through casting. This makes SLM an ideal choice for manufacturing components that require high strength, corrosion resistance, or other specialized properties.

The SLM Process: Step by Step

Design the part using computer-aided design (CAD) software

This is the first step in any 3D printing process and involves creating a digital model of the part you want to print.

Convert the CAD file into an STL file

The STL file is a standard format used by 3D printers and contains all the information necessary to create the part layer by layer.

PreheatPrepare the SLM machineing

This involves setting up the build platform, leveling it, and loading the metallic powder material into the machine. In Selective Laser Melting (SLM), the building …

Start the printing process

The SLM machine uses lasers to selectively melt the metallic powder layer by layer according to the design specifications from the STL file.

Monitor the printing process

During printing, it’s important to monitor the progress of the part and ensure that everything is running smoothly.


Once the printing is complete, the part may need to undergo post-processing tasks such as removing support structures or polishing.

Inspect the part for quality

Once the part has been post-processed, it should be inspected for defects and quality control purposes.

Finish and use the part

Once the part has passed inspection and quality control, it is ready for use or further finishing processes.

Advantages of SLM Printing

Design flexibility

SLM allows for the creation of complex and intricate designs that would not be possible with traditional manufacturing processes. This is because SLM builds parts layer by layer, which means it can produce parts with geometries and internal structures that would be impossible to achieve through other methods.

Material options

SLM can be used with a wide range of metallic materials, including aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, and cobalt-chrome alloys. This provides designers and engineers with a broad range of material options for the parts they need to create.

High strength and durability

SLM-produced parts have excellent mechanical properties, including high strength, durability, and wear resistance. This makes them ideal for use in applications that require high-performance parts.

Reduced waste

SLM produces minimal waste during the manufacturing process, which makes it more environmentally friendly than traditional manufacturing methods. It also reduces the amount of material used, which can result in cost savings.

Faster production

SLM can produce parts quickly and efficiently, which means that designers and engineers can get their parts faster than they would with traditional manufacturing processes. Additionally, SLM is capable of producing single-piece parts, which eliminates the need for assembly.


SLM enables the customization of parts, which can be tailored to meet specific design requirements. This provides greater flexibility in product design and allows for the creation of unique parts that are specific to a particular application.

SLM Material available in CapableMachining

Material Specs Features
Stainless Steel-316LDensity:≥7.90 g/cm3
Tensile Strength:480-580MPa
elongation after break:≥40 %
Vickers Hardness:≥180 HV
High Hardness and Toughness
Strong corrosion resistance
better machinability
Can be high gloss polished
Nickel-Chromium-In 718Density:≥8.18 g/cm3
Tensile Strength:1230-1430MPa
elongation after break:12%-20%
Vickers Hardness:≥410 HV
Ease of processing
It has high Tensile Strength, fatigue strength,
Creep strength and breaking strength
High oxidation resistance at 1000°C
Stable chemical properties at low temperatures
Good welding performance, strong corrosion resistance
Cobalt Chromium-CoCrDensity:≥8.35g/cm³
Tensile Strength:980-1080MPa
elongation after break:7%-10%
Vickers Hardness:≥350HV
Excellent finished surface
high toughness
high strength
Excellent biocompatibility
good corrosion resistance
Aluminum alloy-AlSi10MgDensity:≥2.65 g/cm³
Tensile Strength:400-460 MPa
elongation after break:≥5 %
Vickers Hardness:≥120 HV
Build parts with excellent mechanical properties,
Such as Hardness and Tensile Strength
excellent corrosion resistance
Good thermal and electrical conductivity
High dynamic toughness
Titanium alloy-TC4Density:≥4.40g/cm³
Tensile Strength:1050-1150MPa BS
elongation after break:4%-8%
Vickers Hardness:≥310 HV
High strength to mass ratio
Strong corrosion resistance
Good biocompatibility and osseointegration
Small thermal expansion, low thermal conductivity
better machinability
Tin Bronze alloy-CuSn10Density:≥8.78 g/cm3
Tensile Strength:460-520MPa
elongation after break:≥20 %
Vickers Hardness:≥115 HV
Seawater cavitation resistance, good corrosion resistance
Good wear resistance
better machinability
Good thermal conductivity

CapableMachining’s High-quality SLM service

CapableMachining’s team of experienced engineers and state-of-the-art machines can create highly complex and intricate metal parts that meet even the most demanding specifications. We pride themselves on providing exceptional customer service and support throughout the entire manufacturing process, from design to production to post-processing.

If you’re looking for a reliable and high-quality SLM service provider, CapableMachining is an excellent choice. Contact us by click the button below. Send us your design, we will handle the rest.

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