Prototech Asia offers a metal 3D printing service for the rapid manufacturing of your prototypes, units or small series (from 1 to 20+ pieces). This metal manufacturing process allows the production of complex metal parts and geometries that are difficult to achieve with machining. The reduced manufacturing time and weight associated with this technology bring an advantage in terms of production cost. The parts obtained benefit from good mechanical properties thanks to the use of the ‘right materials’ (steel 3D printing, aluminum 3D printing, stainless-steel 3D printing, titanium 3D printing).
There are several 3D metal printing technologies depending on the applications and the type of part you want to produce. Prototech Asia mainly uses DMLS/SLM laser metal sintering technology. This is an additive metal manufacturing technology because it involves an ‘addition’ of material.
Example of parts manufactured by metal 3D printing
Manufacturing by metal 3D printing
Metal 3D printing makes it possible to produce complex metal parts (hollow bodies, parts with undercuts, etc.) rapidly and with a very high level of precision. It is not generally possible to produce this type of monobloc part by metal machining. Laser sintering technology allows us to produce functional metal parts for prototyping or final applications.
3D printing process using laser sintering
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS/SLM) is the leading 3D printing technology for metal parts. It works using successive layers. A laser ‘fuses’ a thin layer of metal powder on specific areas to form the desired part layer by layer.
At the end of each cycle, the metal 3D printer adds a new layer of metal powder. This continues until the part takes its final form. Each layer becomes fused with the layer below during cooling. The pattern of the laser on the powder bed follows the shapes determined in the 3D file provided. Once the part is finished, a post-processing phase is necessary.
Properties of 3D printing using laser sintering
This metal 3D printing technology makes it possible to obtain high-precision metal parts (layer thickness varying from 20 µm to 100 µm with details of up to 0.4 mm) and benefits from excellent mechanical properties (high-performance materials, density close to 100%).
Dimensions: we have machines to produce your metal parts in sizes up to 50 x 28 x 35 cm.
Materials and finishes: Different levels of finishes are possible (from the removal of supports to post-machining) according to the materials selected and your precision requirements. For more details, please consult the list of our materials and finishes.
Main applications of metal 3D printing
There is an increasing number of applications in the field of metal 3D printing, whether for the production of functional prototypes or parts for final use. It is very widely used in the industrial, automotive, medical, electronics and other sectors. It is also of interest for the production of plastic injection tools (mold imprints and pins).