As many of you have seen, Addaero has recently introduced a new technology into our capabilities with the purchase of 2 EOS M290 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) machines. As a full metal additive manufacturing (AM) service provider, we will now employ both DMLS and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technologies for use in AM production. Addaero’s quality first, process driven approach to EBM has already lead us to becoming a world leader in EBM production and our team is excited to apply this same mindset to the DMLS technology. Our goal with this technological expansion is to further our ability to meet the most demanding applications our customers and the industry are faced with. We would like to use this introduction to explain why we chose DMLS and the decision-making process on why people use DMLS vs. EBM, including how this allows engineers to match their specific application to the appropriate technology.
Addaero has always been focused on building a high-quality part using additive manufacturing and providing the right technology for the application. To accomplish this goal, it became apparent that there is a place for multiple AM technologies within any AM production operation. The question many ask is why would you use DMLS vs EBM for your application. Below are a few key reasons why.
One of the key differentiators between DMLS and EBM are the materials available for processing. Although you can likely find ways to manufacture materials in either system, it has been seen that there is a natural fit for each technology. Below is a table that highlights what family of materials work well in DMLS vs EBM.
There are uses for all of the materials above so to process them in the most efficient manner you are driven to having both technologies.
Another key consideration is the size of the part required. The optimal size of the part for a technology is driven by the process rate of the machine. How much metal can be deposited each hour? The faster the rate, the larger the parts are going to make sense. The size of the production run may alter this but below is a good guide for reference. The images below are used to represent the optimal size of each part for the technology.
Based on the image above DLMS is best suited for parts no larger than a lemon whereas wire deposition based printers are well suited to parts larger than a watermelon. Obviously, there will be exceptions to every rule but the above is a good rule of thumb for which technology to choose for your project.
In additive manufacturing, there is a tradeoff between fabrication speed and part definition. There are multiple factors for this effect. As a rule, if you add higher power to the bed you are going to have a larger melt pool and larger variability in your surface. You can see this with EBM vs DMLS. Below is a chart that details the beam power vs the surface finish of each technology.
A better surface finish allows for more product definition and allows the user to insert more detail into their design.
What does this mean for our customers?
Based on the items above, Addaero’s addition of DMLS technology means that we are able to match the right technology to the application. Too often people want to fit their machine to a part, which can lead to sacrifices in design, quality and time. As a full service metal AM provider, we will instead be able to look at a challenge our customer is facing and fit the right technology to the product.
Our team at Addaero is excited to see the new problems we can solve for our customers using this new technology! In the coming weeks we will be posting blogs documenting the introduction of DMLS into our facility. If you’re interested in learning more reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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