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The Impact Of EOS
I’ve covered a few 3D printing companies across the globe lately, but I really want to focus some attention on the additive manufacturing company known as EOS. This 3D printing company has held its own for quite a while, and pioneered one of the most innovative technologies within the 3D printing industry known today. This company was founded in Munich, Germany, and created a manufacturing method that is still in very common use today. This method is known as DMLS, or direct metal laser sintering. First off, what is DMLS? Direct metal laser sintering is an advanced additive manufacturing process which involves the use of laser melting technology to form a final product. It is similar to other 3D printing methods, as it is a CAM system, or computer-aided-manufacturing system. For this to work, an engineer or product developer will have to create a computer blueprint of the product to be manufactured. This product will then be sent to a 3D printer which is capable of DMLS technology. This machine will then be prepared for manufacturing. In a nutshell, DMLS is layer by layer laser melting process of metals. The process starts like this: a layer of powder will be laid down over the machines build envelope, or space delegated for the product to be manufactured on. This powder will consist of powdered stainless steel, maraging steel, cobalt chrome, Inconel, titanium, or other alloys. This powder will also be laid down in layers at a fraction of a millimeter. In accordance to the original blueprint, through 3D printing, a laser will melt each layer of metal together. After one layer is melted in accordance to the blueprint, another layer will be laid down on top of the previous one, and it will also be melted. The process will continue as layers stack on top of layers, and each individual layer will be melted as necessary. After so many layers, the final product will be ready. As not 100% of each layer will be laser melted, the unused powder will surround the melted powder, holding it in place and acting as a support. The final product from 3D printing will be removed from the printer, and the excess powder around it will be dusted off. So basically, layers of powder will be melted together to form a final product! This method of manufacturing is revolutionary within the 3D printing world, as it allows for the precise creation of strong metal parts with excellent detail. 3D printing metals through direct metal laser sintering is a much better alternative to machining metal parts for multiple reasons. First, in many situations DMLS is more inexpensive than machining. Second, DMLS can create very precise parts with organic shapes which machining methods can’t compete with. Third, DMLS is much quicker than traditional machining. Pieces can be created within one day, sometimes within a few hours. This German method of 3D Printing is one way that EOS stands out within the 3D printing industry. This technology has truly shaped the way that we do manufacturing nowadays!