用于金属快速成型制造的 SLM


Overview of Selective Laser Melting

Selective laser melting (SLM) is a powder bed fusion metal 3D printing process that uses a laser to selectively melt and fuse metallic powder particles layer-by-layer to build up fully dense parts.

Key attributes of SLM technology:

材料Metals like stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, nickel alloys
Laser typeFiber, CO2, or direct diode lasers
氛围Inert argon or nitrogen atmosphere
ResolutionCapable of fine features down to 150 μm
准确性Parts within ±0.2% dimensions or better

SLM enables complex, customizable metal parts for aerospace, medical, automotive, and industrial applications.


The SLM printing process works as follows:

  • 3D model sliced into 2D cross-section layers
  • Powder spread over build plate in thin layer
  • Laser selectively scans layer, melting powder
  • Melted powder solidifies and fuses together
  • Build plate lowers and new layer spread on top
  • Process repeats until full part built up

The unfused powder provides support while building up the component. This enables complex geometries without dedicated support structures.


Types of Selective Laser Melting Systems

There are several SLM system configurations:

Single laserOne high power laser for melting
Multi laserMultiple lasers to increase build speed
Scanning systemGalvo mirrors or fixed optics
Metal powder handlingOpen systems or closed powder recycling
Atmosphere controlSealed build chamber filled with argon or nitrogen

Multi-laser systems offer faster builds while closed-loop powder handling improves efficiency and recyclability.

Materials for Selective Laser Melting

Common metal materials used for SLM include:

铝合金Lightweight with good strength
不锈钢Corrosion resistance, high toughness
Cobalt-ChromeBiocompatible with good wear

A range of alloy powders enables properties like strength, hardness, temperature resistance, and biocompatibility needed across applications.

Applications of Selective Laser Melting

Typical applications of SLM metal printing include:

航空航天Engine components, lightweight structures
医疗Custom implants, prosthetics, instruments
汽车Lightweight parts, custom tooling
工业Lightweighting components, end-use production
石油和天然气Corrosion resistant valves, wellhead parts

SLM enables complex, custom metal parts consolidated into one piece and optimized for weight and performance.

Benefits of Selective Laser Melting

Key advantages of SLM technology:

复杂几何形状Unlimited design freedom for organic shapes
部分合并Assemblies printed as one single component
定制Easily adapted to produce custom parts
Material savingsReduced waste compared to subtractive methods
后期处理May require support removal and surface finishing

These advantages enable higher performing end-use metal parts at competitive lead times and costs at lower production volumes.


Limitations of Selective Laser Melting

Limitations of SLM include:

部件尺寸Restricted to printer build volume, typically under 1 m3
生产率Relatively slow production rates limit high volumes
后期处理May require support removal, machining, finishing
各向异性Mechanical properties vary depending on build orientation
表面处理As-printed surface is relatively rough
Operator expertiseRequires extensive printer experience

The technology is best suited for low to medium production volumes of complex metal parts.

SLM Printer Suppliers

Leading SLM system manufacturers:

公司名称Notable Systems
3D 系统DMP series
通用电气添加剂X Line 2000R
TrumpfTruPrint 1000, 3000
SLM 解决方案SLM 500, SLM 800
雷尼绍AM500, AM400

Machines range from smaller build volumes around 250 x 250 x 300 mm up to large 800 x 400 x 500 mm systems for high productivity.

Selecting an SLM 3D Printer

Key considerations when selecting an SLM system:

建筑体积Match to required part sizes
Supported materialsNeeded alloys like Ti, Al, stainless, tool steels
Inert gas systemSealed, automated argon or nitrogen handling
Laser technologyFiber, CO2, or direct diode lasers
Scanning methodGalvo or fixed mirror scanning
粉末处理Closed-loop recycling preferred

The optimum SLM system provides the materials, build volume, speed, and powder handling features required for the applications.

SLM Facility Requirements

To operate an SLM printer, the facility must meet:

  • Electrical power levels 20-60 kW typical
  • Stable temperature around 20-25°C
  • Low humidity below 70% RH
  • Particulate control and metal powder handling
  • Inert gas supply and venting
  • Exhaust filtration for released particulates
  • Monitoring systems for atmosphere
  • Strong personnel safety procedures

SLM systems require substantial infrastructure for power, cooling, powder handling, and inert gas delivery.

SLM Printing Process Parameters

Typical SLM printing parameters:

激光功率100-400 W
Scanning speed100-2000 mm/s
层厚度20-100 μm
舱口间距50-200 μm
斑点大小50-100 μm
Scanning patternAlternating, rotated for each layer

Precise adjustment of these parameters is required to achieve fully dense parts for each alloy powder.

SLM Design Guidelines and Limitations

Key SLM design guidelines include:

Minimum wall thicknessAvoid heat buildup and warping
Supported overhangsPrevent collapse without supports
Avoid thin featuresPrevent melting or vaporization
Orient for strengthOptimize for load direction
Minimize support useSimplify post-processing

The SLM process imposes geometric requirements like overhang angles and minimum feature sizes that must be accounted for.

SLM Post-Processing Requirements

Common post-processing steps for SLM parts:

支持移除Remove auto-generated supports from software
除粉Clean remaining powder from internal passages
表面处理Improve surface finish and roughness through machining
缓解压力Reduce residual stresses through heat treatment
热等静压Improve density and reduce internal voids

The level of post-processing depends on the application requirements for tolerances, surface finishes, and material properties.

Qualification Testing for SLM Parts

Typical qualification tests for SLM components:

密度分析Measure density compared to wrought materials
机械测试Tensile, fatigue, fracture toughness tests
MetallographyMicrostructure imaging and defect analysis
化学分析Check composition matches specification
Non-destructiveCT scanning or X-ray inspection for voids

Thorough testing ensures SLM parts meet requirements before being put into production applications.

的好处 SLM 技术

Selective laser melting provides key advantages:

  • Complex, organic geometries not possible with casting or CNC
  • lighter weight structures through topology optimization
  • Part consolidation into single printed components
  • Reduced waste compared to subtractive methods
  • Customization and rapid design iterations
  • Just-in-time production of metal parts
  • High strength and hardness approaching wrought materials

These benefits make SLM suitable for producing high value, low volume parts on-demand across industries.

Challenges of Adopting SLM Printing

Barriers to adoption of SLM include:

ChallengeMitigation Strategies
High printer costLeverage service bureaus, validate ROI
材料选择New alloys in development, specialty suppliers
Process knowledgeTraining programs, learning curve
标准Part qualification protocols being developed
后期处理Automated processes under development

As the technology matures, these barriers are being reduced through improved materials, equipment, training, and standardization efforts across the industry.

The Future of Selective Laser Melting

Emerging trends in SLM technology:

  • Larger build volumes above 500 x 500 x 500 mm
  • Multi-laser systems for faster build rates
  • Expanded alloys including high-temperature superalloys
  • Improved powder recyclability and handling
  • Automated support removal and post-processing
  • Hybrid manufacturing combining AM and CNC
  • Specialized software for design optimization
  • Standardization of process parameters and part qualification

SLM systems will continue advancing in terms of build size, speed, materials, and reliability to meet production needs across more industrial applications.


Summary of Key Points

  • SLM selectively fuses metal powder with a laser for full density 3D printing
  • Powder bed fusion process capable of fine details and complex geometries
  • Suitable for aerospace, medical, automotive, and industrial applications
  • Uses metals like stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, and nickel alloys
  • Provides benefits of part consolidation, customization, lightweighting
  • Requires controlled atmosphere and robust powder handling systems
  • Significant post-processing may be needed on printed parts
  • Leading technology for low to medium volume production applications
  • Ongoing improvements in materials, build size, speed, and quality
  • Enables high performance printed metal components

Selective laser melting will continue growing as an industrial manufacturing solution for customized metal parts on-demand.


What materials are compatible with SLM?Most weldable alloys like stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, tool steel, nickel alloys, and cobalt-chrome.
What is the typical accuracy of SLM parts?Dimensional accuracy around ±0.2% is achievable for most geometries.
What post-processing is required?Support removal, powder removal, surface finishing, stress relieving, and hot isostatic pressing are common.
What are common SLM defects?Porosity, cracking, layer delamination, warp, poor surface finish, unmelted particles.
What types of lasers are used in SLM?Fiber lasers, CO2 lasers, or high-power diodes are commonly used.

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Metal3DP Technology Co., LTD 是一家领先的增材制造解决方案提供商,总部位于中国青岛。公司专注于工业应用领域的三维打印设备和高性能金属粉末。



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