Laser melting

Layer by layer to produce a functioning component

Laser melting
Metal laser melting


Laser melting is a generative production process where the component is made directly from 3D data. Using existing data (default format STL), highly complex parts can be produced using a range of metallic materials.

The laser melting process creates a 3D component layer by layer. The metal used is layered as a fine powder and melted together using a laser beam. The powder is automatically layered at a thickness ranging from 20–80 µm depending on the surface quality and processing speed required. A high-performance laser beam then melts the powder precisely at the point required. The laser beam's highly focused power density ensures the material is melted with complete precision to produce fully sealed components with walls from 40 µm thick.
Laser melting diagram
When the melting process for a layer is complete, the platform sinks by the required layer thickness to enable another layer of powder to be applied. A component is then created in this way, layer by layer. The process takes place in an inert gas (argon) atmosphere. The time required depends on the quantity of material being used, not on the complexity of the component.

The layered construction enables the production of highly complex lattice or honey-comb structures that other manufacturing processes are unable to produce. The melting process builds up material only at the points where it is needed. This optimises material usage as well as minimising weight.

Laser welding enables the construction of fully sealed and mechanically robust parts whose material properties practically match those made using conventional manufacturing methods. Laser melted parts can also undergo the same further processing that conventionally manufactured parts use.