Metal 3D printing Technology-SLM
Selective laser Melting (SLM) is a powder-based fusion technology that uses a laser beam to locally sinter polymer powder to build parts layer by layer.
The Operation of SLM:
Step 1: A bin of the powder material is heated to an elevated temperature. A recoating blade deposits a very thin layer of the powdered material (typically 0.1 mm) onto a build platform.
Step 2: After deposition of a layer, a laser beam starts to scan the surface. The laser beam selectively sinters the powder and solidifies a cross-section of the part.
Step 3: When the entire cross-section is scanned, the building platform moves down one layer thickness in height. Unsintered powder remains in place to support subsequent layers eliminating the need for support structures. The recoating blade deposits a new layer of powder on top of the scanned layer and the laser beam starts to sinter the successive cross-section of the part onto the previously solidified cross-sections. This process is repeated until all parts are fully manufactured.
When the printing process is complete and the powder container and product have cooled down, the powder container is unpacked. The solid products are parted from the unsintered powder and cleaned with compressed air and a blasting medium. The remaining (unsintered) powder is collected and reused. The parts are then ready to use or are post processed to improve mechanical properties or appearance.
Let's see this video for more detail of SLM Technology: