Important Notice!! Sign-Up to try our Metal 3D Printing for FREE >> Terms & Conditions Apply.

Selective Laser Melting (SLM)

Selective laser melting (SLM), also called direct metal laser melting (DMLM), is a type of metal additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Often, the terms SLM and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) are used interchangeably.

SLM Part Strength

SLM parts are more robust and denser than investment cast metal parts, and they can help you get to market first with faster turnaround times.

Instant Quote

How Selective Laser Melting 3D Printing Works

SLM is very similar to DMLS, and both processes are covered under the metal powder bed fusion umbrella. As demonstrated in the image above, the laser melts the powder together, layer-by-layer, until the model is complete.

On a molecular level, the powder is melted together, resulting in a homogeneous part. Most commonly the printing materials are “pure” materials, for example, titanium. However, alloys are also used.

Although the powder bed lends support to the print while printing, often, because of the weight of the material, SLM requires support structures to be added to any overhanging features.

Get an Instant Price Online
Selective Laser Melting  (SLM)

Why Use SLM?

Selective Laser Melting is one of the most exciting 3D printing technologies available today and is utilized both for rapid prototyping and mass production. The range of metal alloys available is fairly extensive. The end result has properties equivalent to those manufactured via traditional manufacturing processes.

Why Make your 3D Priting at Unionfab?

  • Endless Options Choose from millions of possible combinations of materials, finishes, tolerances, markings, and certifications for your order.
  • Easy to Use Get your parts delivered right to your door without the hassle of sourcing, project management, logistics, or shipping.
  • Vetted Network We are ISO 9001:2015 certified and AS9100D compliant. Only the top shops that apply to become Suppliers make it through our qualification process.

Design Guidelines: Selective Laser Melting (SLM)

Max Part Size
Layer Thickness
Minimum Wall Thickness
Tolerances
Post-Surface Treatment
Post Treatment
ALUM-AlSi10Mg Stainless-316L TC4
Max Size 400 x 300 x 400(mm) 400 x 300 x 400(mm) 150 x 150 x 200(mm)
Min. Size 150 x 150 x 200(mm) 150 x 150 x 200(mm) 150 x 150 x 200(mm)
ALUM-AlSi10Mg Stainless-316L TC4
0.035(mm) 0.035(mm) 0.035(mm)
ALUM-AlSi10Mg Stainless-316L TC4
0.5(mm) 0.5(mm) 0.5(mm)
ALUM-AlSi10Mg Stainless-316L TC4
±0.2(mm) ±0.2(mm) ±0.2(mm)
ALUM-AlSi10Mg Stainless-316L TC4
Sandblasting\Anodized\Painting Sandblasting\Polish\Electroplate Sandblasting\Anodized
ALUM-AlSi10Mg Stainless-316L TC4
Second-CNC Second-CNC Second-CNC

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) Material Options

ALUMINUM Alsi 10Mg

ALUMINUM Alsi 10Mg

Features:

[Print Size]
250x250x320 MM

[Features]
AlSi10Mg contains 0.6% of Mg and 10% of Si. The high percentage of silicon gives good casting characteristics. It has relatively high electrical conductivity, a moderately high melting temperature, and relatively high tensile strength. It's often used for aeronautics (wings and armaments), in the automotive industry (bumpers and engine blocks), and in marine (hull and accessories). Such aluminum alloys are widely used in engineering structures and components where lightweight and corrosion resistance is required. Its composition makes it suitable for moulding, but it's more widely used for 3D printing using DMLS and SLM technology.

[Print Effect]
Standard: The standard finish refers to the removal of any support structures. The surface of the part is also medium blasted to create a uniform appearance.
CNC Machining or Polishing: In some cases, CNC machining or polishing can be specified for specific features on the component. However, these are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Color:
NATURAL
Introduction:

ALUMINUM Alsi 10Mg is a soft but versatile material utilised primarily on alloys. Due to its relatively low costs and ease of machining and forming, it is widely used in many industries and remains one of the most widespread metals. One of the required fields for aluminium is construction, closely followed by engineering.
ALUMINUM Alsi 10Mg presents excellent conductivity of heat and electricity, comparable to copper: about one half of heat and two-thirds the same electrical conductivity. This metal is recyclable without quality loss and highly durable. About 75% of ever produced aluminium is still in use.

Although relatively strong, the main features are its lightweight and corrosion resistance (after contact with oxygen, it forms the layer of Al2O3). Among the most widespread aluminium alloys are 6061, 7075

316L STEEL

316L STEEL

Features:

[Print Size]
250x250x320 MM

[Features]
316L is one of the most popular stainless steel grades used in 3D printing. This material has better mechanical properties thanks to the high-temperature gradient and fast solidification rate, though some printers can print with 17-4 PH as well.

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) 3D printing with stainless steel - the powdered material gets melted together layer by layer resulting in a final part. Compared to machining, details appear a bit weaker and more porous. However, through 3D printing, it is possible to achieve more complicated geometries and structures of metal, which would be impossible to machine or form with other manufacturing methods. SLM is suitable for prototypes and small batches of parts from stainless steel.

316L Stainless Steel is good material for printing both functional and spare parts in 3D. The material is easy to maintain because it attracts little dirt and the presence of chrome gives it the added benefit of never rusting.

316L Steel is used to offer solid pieces and essential hygienics in several industries such as the medical, aeronautical, automobile, and domestic products industries.

[Print Effect]
With no particular finishing, the material gives off a granular and coarse appearance, though suiting most applications. Smooth and shiny surfaces can be acquired after printing through finishing steps. Pieces can be machined, drilled, welded, electro-eroded, granulated, polished, and coated.

Color:
NATURAL
Introduction:

316L Steel is one of the most popular stainless steel grades used in 3D printing. This material has better mechanical properties thanks to the high-temperature gradient and fast solidification rate, though some printers can print with 17-4 PH as well.
316 Steel is a robust metal with a rough, pitted surface. 316L Steel is available in a variety of polished and matte finishes and is good for a wide range of applications including jewellery, functional parts, and small sculptures

TITANIUM

TITANIUM

Features:

[Print Size]
250x250x320 MM

[Features]
For metal 3D printing processes like DMLS, SLM, and EBS, the powder of Ti6Al4V alloy is used. It has a particle size of between 45 and 100 microns. Thanks to the vast opportunities of additive manufacturing, this material is used for creating complex parts and customised implants. 3D printed titanium parts are strong and relatively durable, though they will appear weaker and more porous than machine or formed ones.

[Print Effect]
Standard: The standard finish refers to the removal of any support structures. The surface of the part is also medium blasted to create a uniform appearance.
CNC Machining or Polishing: In some cases, CNC machining or polishing can be specified for specific features on the component. However, these are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Color:
NATURAL
Introduction:

Titanium is a versatile material that is widely used for medical applications due to its biocompatible composition. Titanium 3D printing is a good option for medical implants as the parts can be made hollow and can feature complex surface geometries that act as attachment points for bone and tissue growth. In addition to this, its excellent strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance make it a popular material in the aerospace industry.

Compare our 3D Printing Services

Service Lead Times Materials Tolerances Max Part Size
SLA 1 – 3 days Resin / Somos +/- 0.003 in. 800 x 800 x 550 mm
SLS 2 – 5 days PA12/ PA12GB +/- 0.002 in. 350 x 350 x 400 mm
MJF 2 – 5 days PA12/ PA12GB +/- 0.002 in. 380 x 280 x 380 mm
FDM 2 – 5 days PLA / ABS  +/- 0.003 in. 500 x 500 x 400 mm
Poly Jet 2 – 5 days Resin +/- 0.003 in. 490 x 390 x 200 mm