Metal 3D printing (SLM)

    Metal 3D printing allows to manufacture final complex products quickly. Additive metal manufacturing, Metal 3D printing, allows the manufacture of geometries and structures that would be impossible to obtain through traditional manufacturing processes.

    Metal 3D printing (SLM)

    The additive manufacturing technology allow the production of parts up to 60% lighter than traditional manufacturing.

    Parts made by Additive Metal Manufacturing and depending on the material processed, have a resistance similar or even higher than what can be obtained by forging or machining.

    Metal 3D printing uses the minimum amount of material, thus reducing the amount of waste and scrap derived from the manufacturing process, thus achieving very significant energy savings during manufacturing.

    The reduction of waste is what has mainly given 3D printing metal the consideration of a more sustainable and ecological technology and manufacturing method.

    What is metal 3D printing?

    Metal 3D printing uses metal alloys as a raw material in the form of powder. A laser device melt and joins the particles layer by layer, thus forming an object in 3 dimensions.

    How does it work?

    With the 3D geometry, the orientation of the part that will be manufactured is decided. Using a 3D treatment program, the information is organized and translated, generating a file with specific segmentation and with the layers of the piece. The current industry standard for data exchange in additive manufacturing is the STL format.

    In the 3D metal printing machine, layers of metal powder are spread over one another successively while a high-power laser melts the particles and joins them together, building the part and the supports.

    When the manufacturing of the part has been finished on the machine, the excess powder is removed for later reuse. Depending on the metal alloy used, the part is sometimes post-treated, either thermally or under isostatic pressure, and the supports are eventually removed.

    Applications of metal 3D printing

    It is an appropriate technology for the manufacture of complex metal parts, as it provides almost unlimited design flexibility. The cost of manufacturing this type of parts depends on their volume, not their complexity. We highlight some ideal applications for this technology:

    • Functional prototypes
    • Parts with complex geometry
    • Lightweight structures for use in aerospace and aeronautics
    • Inserts for tools and molds with internal cooling channels
    • Tools for production
    • Rigid housings
    • Pipelines
    • Spare parts
    • Heatsinks
    • Heat exchangers
    • Manufacture of short series of parts

    Advantages of metal 3D printing (SLM)


    The product design freedom offered by metal 3D printing makes it easy to improve the functional characteristics of parts by allowing design outside the subtractive box.


    Lighter designs are obtained through topological optimization that improves stiffness and weight, the use of internal lattice structures, emptying and the reduction of mechanical assemblies thanks to the manufacture of a set of parts at once.


    Welding processes, critical during assembly, are eliminated as they require a very demanding inspection and quality control on a regular basis. It reduces assembly times, costs and optimizes the counting and management of parts.


    Production of optimized geometries for fluid flows, such as cooling or heating channels, which cannot be achieved with conventional manufacturing technologies now a day.

    Materials for metal 3D printing (SLM)

    It uses Steel alloys, hard steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminum among other most common and highly demanded materials and from various applications such as medical, automotive, aerospace and industry in general.

    We offer various state-of-the-art materials for the manufacture of metal-printed parts. On this page we present the main materials with which we work and their most relevant characteristics, if you need a special material do not hesitate to contact us.

    It is an aluminum-based alloy, it has a wide application in the additive manufacturing industry, where prototype and series parts and components are manufactured.

    This alloy has good electrical and thermal conductivity with great resistance to corrosion, thanks to its mechanical properties and its very low weight makes it ideal for applications in automotive, engineering, aerospace, and industry in general.

    Ti6Al4V ELI (Grade 23)

    It is an alloy of titanium, aluminum, and vanadium, of high purity and one of the most used, it has a low content of oxygen, carbon and iron.

    This alloy has a high resistance to corrosion and is very suitable in the biomedical application of medical implants, automotive and aerospace. High resistance to fatigue and corrosion.

    HX (Hastelloy X)

    It is an alloy based on nickel, chromium, molybdenum, and iron.

    Very important alloy with an excellent combination of resistance to oxidation and high temperatures, where industries such as aerospace, energy and chemicals are its main fields of application. This material is characterized by its good ductility and high resistance to cracking.


    It is a chromium-nickel alloy. This material has very good resistance to fatigue, traction and breakage.

    An important alloy in aviation, as aircraft engine parts can be made, just as in the gas industry, to make turbine parts that require high temperature resistance. It is a material with excellent qualities in resistance to oxidation. Its excellent quality allows its application in various industries from energy, petrochemical, and aerospace.


    It is a tool steel (Maraging Steel) with a high content of nickel alloy.

    It has many applications thanks to its high performance and resistance. Some outstanding characteristics are its tenacity and resistance to traction among others. Its field of application to mention a few is the automotive, aerospace and injection molds.


    Stainless steel, a material with high acceptance in the world of additive manufacturing due to its ease of processing and use as a starting point for getting started in this technology.

    Stainless steel is well known for its good mechanical properties and its great resistance to corrosion, at high temperatures, which gives it a use in various sectors such as the automotive, environments susceptible to corrosion and the food industry, to name a few.

    Do you need help for your project?

    If you need light metal parts, complex parts manufactured quickly and cheaply or parts with mechanical properties similar to castings, or need more information, contact us.
    INEO PROTOTIPOS S.L. Design, prototyping and additive manufacturing.
    Avenc del Daví, 6 Pol.Ind.Can Petit Terrassa, 08227 Barcelona Spain
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