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Selective laser melting (SLM): is an additive manufacturing (AM) technology to produce complex three-dimensional parts through solidifying successive layers of powder materials on the basis of a 3D computer aided design (CAD) model. SLM is associated with complete melting of the powder material. To reproduce the shape of the part laser beam melts powder material layer by layer. Solidifying track by track, layer by layer, the SLM part with required geometry is created. During selective laser melting a very small molten pool with high temperature gradients is formed. The microstructure of as-made SLM objects depends on material properties, process-parameters, scanning strategy and part geometry.
Applications: The most common applications for this technology are in the aerospace industry, as complex parts can be made with additive manufacturing, which overcomes the limitations of conventional manufacturing. It can also result in the reduction of parts weight needed. SLM also has applications in the medical field where some prosthetics are created with this technology, allowing the model to be customized to the patient's anatomy.
(a) Biomedical part printed via SLM, lattice structure for enhancing bone growth, (b) GE nozzle jet (assembly of 25 parts in only 1 part and 25% lighter)
(c) Airbus bracket with new design & lighter, (d) Heat sinks we printed in our lab at ATAMI for Prof. Joshua Gess