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DMLS 3D Printing Service

Direct Metal Laser Sintering Parts On Demand

dmls jet engine model

What Is Direct Metal Laser Sintering?

Direct Metal Laser Sintering is a direct metal laser melting (DMLM) or laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) technology that accurately forms complex 3D-printed geometries not possible with other metal manufacturing methods. 

Monikers: DMLS, DMLM, Metal 3D printing, additive metal manufacturing, metal powder bed fusion

DMLS Part Strength

DMLS parts are stronger and denser than investment casted metal parts, and they can help you get to market first with faster turnaround times. Metal 3D printing is an ideal process for complex oil and gas components, custom medical guides, part-consolidated aerospace parts, and tough functional prototypes.

What are the advantages of DMLS? 

DMLS produces fully dense, smartly designed metal parts without the need for tooling. Inner features that would be impossible to machine are possible with DMLS. Designed for additive manufacturing (DFAM) DMLS parts give the ability to create geometries that are optimized for the application without the concerns that are traditionally considered using conventional manufacturing. 

Direct Metal Laser Sintering Thermal Control Systems

How does Direct Metal Laser Sintering work?

DMLS uses a precise, high-wattage laser to micro-weld powdered metals and alloys to form fully functional metal components from your CAD model. This additive manufacturing (3D-printing) process allows for designs of metal components that are impossible to create using conventional manufacturing methods. 

Like the SLS 3D-printing process, a CAD model is oriented in space alongside copies of itself or other geometries within the software during the programming stage of the process. The software will then create thousands of layers that make up the 3d objects, these layers tell the 3D-printer where the laser needs to melt on each layer to create the object.  

DMLS requires a completely enclosed build chamber that is heated to a degree just below the melting point of the powdered metal. A recoater blade preps the surface by depositing and smoothing the layer of metal powder. A high-wattage laser then traces out the areas of the layer to be melted. Once the laser has melted the specified areas of the layer, the z-stage of the machine will lower slightly to make room for the next layer, to which the recoater blade will once again deposit and smooth powder, prepping the surface for the next layer. This process is repeated over and over until the 3D metal object is created. 

Unlike the SLS process, DMLS requires support structures because the temperature used to melt metal is exponentially higher than its plastic counterpart, as well as when the material melts it becomes denser than the un-melted powder and can fall through the powder or break off from the design if left unsupported. These support structures are removed during post-processing using various methods such as machining, sanding, and bead blasting. Raw DMLS parts have a surface finish comparable to a fine investment casting part. 

After this, depending on the material and/or requirements, the part(s) would undergo additional post-processing steps such as annealing, precipitation hardening, tumbling, polishing, CNC machining, or hot isostatic press (HIP) to name a few. 

Direct Metal Laser Sintering Functional Prototyping

What applications are used in DMLS? 

Many of the applications seen utilizing DMLS/DMLM are in the aerospace, automotive, energy, and medical industries. A limited sample of examples can include:

  • Propulsion - Rocket Nozzle, Liquid Oxygen Manifold or Impeller, Swirler
  • Fluid Management - Impeller, Manifold, Bladed Disk, Exhaust Mixer
  • Thermal Management - Heat Exchanger
  • Housings - Cover Plate
  • Structural Components - Mounting Bracket
  • Mechanisms - Gears, Bevel Gears
  • Medical Tool - Surgical Guide

Materials for 3D Printing Parts with DMLS

SDM Material

Stainless Steel 17-4 PH (As Built)

SS17-4PH is characterized by excellent weld-ability, good corrosion resistance, and mechanical properties

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SDM Material

Stainless Steel 316L (As Built)

SS316L is characterized by very good weld-ability, corrosion resistance, and mechanical properties including excellent ductility. 

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SDM Material

Nickel Alloy 718 (As Built)

High strength nickel base superalloy

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SDM Material

Nickel Alloy K500 (As Built)

Age-hardenable Nickel-Copper alloy

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SDM Material

Cobalt Chrome CoCrMo (As Built)

Metal alloy of cobalt and chromium

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Metal 3D Printing Applications of DMLS

Direct Metal Laser Sintering Production Parts


Produce low-volume production metals parts with DMLS.

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Direct Metal Laser Sintering Functional Prototyping

Functional Prototyping

Build tough and hardworking metal prototypes to test components in real-world applications.

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Direct Metal Laser Sintering Thermal Control Systems

Thermal Control Systems

Advance your thermal management capabilities with complex heat exchangers and heat pipes manufactured with DMLS.


DMLS   Quality

DMLS Parts from 3D Printing Pioneers

 Making a quality 3D-printed part takes more than just a machine. It takes a responsive team behind the technology, running tests and working tirelessly to validate materials and processes. Years of experience with DMLS have led us to develop proprietary build styles, post-processing methods, as well as material development.

At Stratasys Direct, our services are backed by more than the largest fleet of machines in North America; we have nearly thirty years in the industry and a team of engineers ready to assist with every step of your project.

What specifications are offered in DMLS? 

We have bare-bones specifications, internally developed specifications created from decades of experience, or can utilize customer-provided specifications for the ultimate level of control. You can read more on the offerings we have at Stratasys Direct by visiting our DMLM Product Offerings page. 

General questions? Engineering questions? Need help with your design?

Contact us
dmls copper part

Frequently Asked Questions about DMLS

Are DMLS parts as strong as traditionally manufactured metal components?

Yes. The parts created with DMLS have mechanical properties equivalent to cast metal parts. Detailed information can be found on the DMLS materials page.

What is the porosity of DMLS parts?

DMLS parts can reach a 99.5% density. In fact, 3D-printed metals are above industry standards for density testing.

How accurate is DMLS?

DMLS is available in several resolutions. At its highest resolution, the layer thickness is 0.0008” – 0.0015” Z. Tolerances for DMLS parts can vary based on the specification or even material. For reference only, our standard tolerance is +/-0.005" inch or +/-0.002 inch over inch, whichever is greater. Tighter tolerances can be achieved such as when CNC machining a surface of a DMLS printed part now conforms to CNC tolerances.  

Is DMLS fast?

When compared to conventional manufacturing such as CNC machining, DMLS is exponentially faster, with one example taking multiple CNC machined parts that form an assembly and simply building as a single part in DMLS, removing machining time, assembly time, and potential failure points. 

Can DMLS make threads?

Yes, threads can be made in DMLS, and just like threads in other technologies, our finishing department may desire to chase with a tap and die for exact accuracy.

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