Purpose of Metal 3D Printing

Purpose of Metal 3D Printing

Purpose 3D Metal Printing

Metal 3D printing involves powder bed fusion of metals. It has two types of metal additive manufacturing processes: Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). This article will discuss how metal 3D printing works and its benefits and uses.

How does metal 3D printing work?

First, the build chamber uses inert gases like argon to reduce the oxidation of the base material – metal powder. Now the chamber is heated at an optimal temperature.

The next step is to spread the metal powder in the build platform as a thin layer so that a high-power laser beam can scan the cross-section of the required component.

In this stage, the fusing of metal particles takes place, leading to the next layer’s formation. The components or the parts form a solid object once the entire area of the model is scanned.

After completing the above process, the recoater spreads one thinner layer of that base powder material by moving down the build platform by one layer thickness. This process is repeated until the entire part is built entirely.

Types of metal 3D printing processes

Different types of processes are available to print metals using 3D printing technology. Some of the most commonly used ones are listed below.

  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  • Electron Beam Melting (EBM)

Selective Laser Melting (SLM)

In this process, the 3D model is created using the layer-by-layer method. It uses a laser to melt down the metal powder, builds a thin layer of the model in an inert gas environment, and builds more layers based on input parameters.

Usually, this SLM process is used to manufacture components from titanium and aluminum metal materials for industries such as the automotive and medical fields.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

This process is also similar to Selective Laser Melting, but the difference is only the bonding of the metal materials. Here the metal is not melted but sintered, and DMLS allows a variety of metal materials to process.

This technique is used to fuse the metals at an elevated temperature. It is used primarily for prototyping and making finished parts such as medical equipment.

Electron Beam Melting (EBM)

This process uses an electron beam to melt the metal particles instead of a laser beam. This is the only difference between SLM and EBM.

Because of using the electron beam, this process takes comparatively less time to build the component than SLM, and it is also more precise. Here titanium and cobalt are often used to make 3D metal objects. EBM is used to make items like engine parts in industries like aerospace and automobile fields.

Benefits of metal 3D printing

It allows manufacturers to make flexible designs for creating complex 3D models.

Manufacturers can produce 3D metal components within hours, which leads to rapid prototyping. By using these technologies, we can save space and cost as well.

The wastage of raw materials is reduced drastically while using this technology. It also allows combining multiple components into a single part, leading to faster assembly in the production line. It is much more capable of creating precise and detailed 3D models than traditional manufacturing methods.


The primary purpose of 3D metal printing is to create real-world metal objects quickly and efficiently that are so complex to begin with, usual manufacturing methods. It is also well-suited for all types of manufacturing industries. We believe this article will help you to know the working of 3D metal printing technology and its benefits.