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Laser 3D Metal Printing with InssTek

TLM Laser is delighted to welcome our new product partner, Korean-based InssTek Inc.. The company is a leader in laser-aided Direct Metal Tooling (DMT®) 3D Metal Printing technology. DMT® technology is categorised as ‘Directed Energy Deposition’ and differs from the better known ‘Powder Bed Fusion’ by using commercially available industrial-metal powder. It is therefore very economical in comparison.

3d printing

DMT® 3D metal technology is already widely used in the electrical, automotive, medical, aerospace and defence industries. It provides innovative technical solutions that include moulds with convoluted internal structures that are fully equipped with sensors and cooling channels, metal parts with multiple layers of different metals and repairs of complex surfaces to name a few. Artificial joints for surgery and aircraft engine components are typical end-products using DMT® 3D metal printing technology.

A Simple High Precision Process

The 3D DMT® metal printing process begins with a 3D CAD file. This is transferred onto a collection of 2D layers which are built using a high-power laser and metal powder. The laser beam forms a molten pool on the metal surface into which a finely aligned beam of metal powder is shot. The laser beam and the molten pool move in all directions and so form, layer by layer, the desired 3D metal structure.

The fine tuning of the 2D layer thickness is crucial to the process. InssTek has developed a DMT® closed-loop feedback control system which measures and monitors all the layer thickness parameters during the printing process. With InssTek’s MX range of DMT® 3D metal printers, users can select between 3 standard modules with 150, 250 and 450 microns of layer thickness. Add InssTek’s Special Purpose DMT® Machines and DMT® Engineered Machines and the layer thickness can be varied between 100 and 1000 microns.

Laser 3D metal printing

From Zero to Part-Built

To give more flexibility in fabricating 3D metal products, InssTek has developed two build-up methods - simple build-up and hybrid build-up. The DMT® simple build-up method creates a whole 3D metal structure out of nothing. To reduce the time this can take and cut costs, a better way is to use DMT® technology on the surface of a conventionally manufactured pre-made component or part. With InssTek’s DMT® hybrid build-up method, a complex working part can then be built onto the surface of this pre-made structure no matter whether it has a 2D planar surface or a curved 3D surface.

With InssTek, moving into one of today’s most advanced manufacturing processes is a lot easier than you may think. For more details on DMT® 3D metal printing and information on the InssTek product range, please contact