SLM Solutions NA Inc

Wixom,  MI 
United States
  • Booth: 419

SLM Solutions is a leading provider of metal-based additive manufacturing systems that optimize fast and cost-efficient part production. With multi-laser options, bi-directional recoating, an open system architecture for materials and parameters and the safest operation with closed-loop powder handling, Selective Laser Melting systems achieve build speeds up to 70% faster for complex and completely dense metal parts.

These powerful and innovative machines, available in three sizes (125280500) with single, dual and quad laser capabilities, support an optimal approach for faster, more flexible metal part production and prototype development across the aerospace, automotive, academia, energy and medical industries. Headquartered in Lübeck, Germany, SLM Solutions Group is a publicly traded company (TecDax) with its North American offices located in Metro-Detroit.

New to additive manufacturing? Check out these white papers, case studies and videos in our metal 3D printing resource center.


 Press Releases

  • SLM Solutions, a leader in design and development of cutting edge metal 3D printing SLM 280HL Build Chambertechnology, announces the completion of a 3D printed titanium aircraft component that measures 12.21” x 8.74 x 8.66” diameter – the largest part to date built in an SLM280HL with dual 400W lasers, which made it possible to build a part of this size in a relatively short time frame compared to conventional manufacturing. The standard build plate size for machines of this class is 250 mm x 250 mm. However the SLM 280, with its increased build plate size at 280 mm x 280 mm, makes larger-sized parts possible.

    SLM Solutions has become a leader in meeting the demands of OEMs with the company’s technology advancements in metal 3D printing using the selective laser melting (SLM) technology, and specifically in Titanium for aerospace/aircraft applications due to its strength and light weight. SLM Solutions has overcome – and continues to make headway in this area – the size limitations of the build chamber and the other challenges that come with building large Titanium parts. Advancements in 3D printing using Titanium are particularly critical because it is a material that is normally is very hard and thus subject to cracking due to high residual stresses, which was the real challenge, explains Mike Hansen, applications engineer for SLM Solutions North America.  “While the geometry wasn’t particularly complex the shear mass of building something that large in titanium with the additive process was challenging,” he states.

    The dual, overlapping laser technology developed and patented by SLM Solutions contributed to the success of this large titanium part. Two lasers working simultaneously on the part in the overlap area enabled not only a faster build but a larger part as well. SLM Solutions carried out tests on these overlap areas showing there is no difference in quality between the area built exclusively by one laser and the area in the overlap worked on by both lasers interchangeably. SLM Solutions engineers went through several iterations to prepare the file and build some sample test pieces to see if the job could be accomplished. The customer was trying to achieve a way to manufacture this part that would result in cost and time savings, and weight reduction.Metal 3D Printing Powder Bed

    “This part is noteworthy because of its size and the fact that it was built out of Titanium in six and a half days with no process interruptions,” says Hansen. “The fact that our SLM machine can operate for that period of time without requiring cleaning or experiencing any interruptions, is in itself extremely significant.”

    While 3D printing tends to get attention for its ability to build unique geometries, the nature of this aircraft component was not particularly complex. However, printing a part of that size in Titanium in such a short time was something that could not have been achieved had the part been machined out of a billet. “With additive manufacturing you’re not restricted to traditional tools and machinery, so you can design in more organic shapes and the entire cycle of designing and engineering a critical part for the aircraft industry is condensed considerably,” Hansen comments.

    Richard Grylls, head of the applications engineering department/North America Technical Director and a Ph.D metallurgist, stated: “The part’s size meant that it would have taken several weeks to machine conventionally, given that it would have required four or five setups it would have been a costly process. Casting the part would have taken even longer given that the tooling would have to be built, which could take as long as six months. And traditional tooling is expensive. We were far faster even though the cost was more. Still, in terms of the total time saved the cost is worth it for a critical part of this size.”

    SLM Solutions excelled in speed and the resulting quality and part density. Hansen commented that “meeting the stringent quality requirements and material specifications with Titanium in highly regulated industries like aerospace and automotive involves much testing of the materials and optimizing the parameters in order to make sure the customer got what they needed.”Finished 3D Printed Build Plate

    In general aerospace/aircraft requirements for inspection are quite extensive, usually involving a CT (computed tomography) scan, a non-destructive test method, to check for porosity or voids in the part, or the customer may perform destructive testing by cutting up the part. “We used non-destructive testing on this part, then performed a real-world test by mounting it on an engine in its intended use, and running it until it failed,” Hansen explained.

    A recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office demonstrated that aircraft weight can be reduced by 7% by replacing conventional means of manufacturing with additive manufacturing – an astonishing number for an industry where most weight efficiency improvements are one or two percentage points. “Within 20 years, there will be a seismic shift in how we manufacture for the aerospace and defense industry,” said Brian Neff, Managing Partner of Neff Capital Management who recently established a new company to focus on the additive manufacturing of production parts for aerospace and defense OEMs around the world. “However, producers who do not understand or are incapable of producing parts with repetitive quality will not play a role in the OEM supply chain.”

    Neff’s newly established company, Sintavia, LLC, is headquartered in Davie, FL, and produces parts based on the exacting quality control standards required by the aerospace and defense industry. In addition to a serial production capability, the company maintains a state-of-the-art metallurgical and metrology lab. “We are excited to be a part of the coming industrial revolution within the aerospace and defense industry,” said Neff. “Over the next few years, as more and more production is shifted to additive manufacturing within this industry, serial manufacturers with exceptional quality control, like Sintavia, will be in high demand by the OEMs.”

    Neff Capital’s funding of Sintavia included a $10 million initial capital investment, rolled out as the company grows and develops its capabilities. To support the production highly complex metal parts, Sintavia added three Selective Laser Melting SLM 280HL systems from SLM Solutions, one with a single 400W laser and two with twin lasers of the same power. With a 280 x280 x 350 mm build envelope, the SLM 280HL system offers options to configure a single 400W or 700W laser as well as dual (400 + 1000W), or twin (400W or 700W) lasers. Likewise, the system’s open software controls, bi-directional loader and closed-loop metal powder handling achieve the speed, safety and flexibility needed to optimize strict production parameters.

    As the additive manufacturing industry evolves, SLM Solutions is seeing greater demand for more and more applications. However the materials and the process of producing these parts are advancing so fast that the standards are quickly becoming outdated. “We’re being contacted by more companies used to traditional manufacturing that now need to increase speed and throughput while maintaining quality, and want to convert conventionally manufactured parts into additive manufacturing,” added Hansen. “This industry is changing on a day-to-day basis, evolving very quickly, but there is a disconnect between the pace of the evolution in additive manufacturing and the ability of some industries to keep pace with approving new materials and processes, particularly the aerospace and automotive 

  • SLM Solutions was proud to play its part helping athletes strive for gold at the Rio Olympics by providing selective laser melting metal additive manufacturing technology to help bicyclists improve their equipment. SLM Solutions customer Erpro & Sprint is a leading company in the field of digital manufacturing in France, offering a wide range of 3D printing services at their facility just north of Paris. Erpro & Sprint partnered with the French Cycling Federation and GIE S2A in the development of custom handlebars for seven athletes who competed in Brazil that were produced on the SLM 280HL metal 3D printer.

    The success of the handlebars lies in their innovative designs created by GIE S2A, combining aerospace and automotive processes, according to Marc Pajon, former CEO of the GIE, an aeroacoustic wind tunnel facility in Montigny Le Bretonneux near Paris. With the JetOne range, GIE S2A further innovated by designing aerodynamic and ergonomic handlebars with outstanding performance for appointment to the international cycling track of the French team. GIE S2A entrusted the implementation of these 3D printing handlebars Erpro & Sprint for the competitions in Rio. Taking advantage of the design possibilities additive manufacturing affords the handlebars were created to incorporate an interior lattice structure, providing strength yet minimizing the weight. Additional weight savings were realized through the lightweight material choice, as the handlebars were printed in aluminum on the SLM 280HL system.

    Metal 3D Printed Handlebars at Rio Olympics

    Cyril Vue, CEO of Erpro & Sprint commented on the project saying, “additive manufacturing technology premiered at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games alongside the French Team. To support the cyclists, Erpro & Sprint manufactured seven fully 3D printed handlebars.” The handlebars were victorious in their debut race in Italy earlier this year when French cyclist Thomas Boudat took first place riding with the new equipment. Leading up to the Olympics, athletes were optimistic about the competitive advantage the 3D printed handlebars could bring – Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins of the United Kingdom had broken records riding with 3D printed handle bars just a few months earlier.

    With the largest build chamber in its segment at 280x280x350mm, the SLM 280HL offers high throughput technology with multiple laser configurations and a patented bi-directional recoating. Integrated SLM Build Processor and open software architecture offers the freedom of controlling system parameters to optimize for unique requirements, such as Olympic handlebars. Individual developments on the SLM 280 HL can be transferred for the production of other machines in the SLM series, such as the larger SLM 500HL. Erpro & Sprint became the first French facility to purchase the quad laser SLM 500HL metal additive manufacturing system earlier this year to increase their manufacturing capabilities.

    GIE S2A, Erpro & Sprint and selective laser melting technology from SLM Solutions is just the latest example of this disruptive technology center stage on arguably the largest stage in the world at the Sumer Olympic Games and the additively manufactured handlebars helped the French men’s team sprint team win Bronze in Brazil. The S2A will bring the JetOne range of handlebars to the consumer market in late September. With 3D printed shoes for sprinters and handlebars on the track this year, it appears that additive technologies will have their eyes set gold for Toyko 2020.

  • The SLM 280 2.0 metal additive manufacturing system from SLM Solutions was debuted at Formnext in Germany in November. The updated system combines quality and efficiency with comprehensive monitoring functions for process control.

    Having already offered the highest laser power in its class at 400W, the 2.0’s increased option of 700W lasers allows users to further optimize their process and build rates. The SLM 280 not only increases build rate through higher laser power, but also offers multiple laser technology. Configurations with two 700W lasers can nearly double build rates over single laser systems.

    Capitalizing on the productivity of these high power lasers, however, required updated gas flow to retain top-quality builds. Improved gas flow management ensures that soot generated from these lasers is efficiently removed from the build chamber so as not to disrupt the optics, leading to optimal use of the laser power. The clean, inert gas atmosphere maintains laser accuracy, even through a multi-day build job, assuring constant part properties throughout the full build.

    The updated gas flow of the SLM 280 2.0 is complemented by the new filter configuration designed to nearly double the life-cycle of the individual filters and reduce consumable costs. The new standard configuration includes two main filters working in parallel with an additional fine particle filter. As with all SLM Solutions systems, the SLM 280 2.0 features an open system that allows users to operate with their own, as well as standard, parameters and metal powders.

    In addition to these major improvements, the SLM 280 2.0 incorporates dozens of other smaller changes made as a result of customer feedback on the SLM 280 1.0. Numerous redesigns for convenience, ergonomics, throughput, worldwide industrial standardization and ease of use are incorporated in the hardware and software. The new developments aim to further reduce build times while guaranteeing high quality standards, even in production processes.


 Products

  • SLM 125HL
    Selective laser melting additive system ideal for low volume metal part production, as well as research & development with it's compact footprint and basic operation, all with a 400W laser....

  • GAIN GREATER CONTROL AND COST EFFICIENCY

    • Increase build speed with patented bi-directional loader movement
    • Adaptable for research & development
    • Modify system parameters according to your production needs
    • Open and flexible software architecture
    • Optimized gas recirculation at a laminar flow provides for safe and cost efficient consumption
    • Closed-loop powder handling

    The compact SLM® 125HL Selective Laser Melting System  offers a build envelope of 125 x 125 x 75 (125 optional) mm. Economical and suitable for R&D as well as small lot production environments, the open software architecture and system parameters allows you to make modifications according to your specific production needs.

    Achieve fast build speeds from the system's patented bi-directional loader movement. Internal recirculation of inert gas at laminar flow also provides for safe and cost-efficient gas consumption.

    The SLM 125HL is equipped with software for importing CAD / STL data or slice data to configure the processes and component-specific parameters. Achieve greater system control by customizing your own construction processes through the unique, flexible and open software architecture.

    The system is able to process most metals (such as Stainless Steels, Tool Steels, Cobalt Chrome, Aluminum, Inconel and Titanium) through a material saving, closed-loop powder handing unit. Changing the metal powder is quick, easy and designed to lower your production costs. Further available options will also increase the versatility and multiple usability of the SLM 125HL.

  • SLM 280HL
    Considered Best-in-Class with a build speed of 20 - 45 ccm/h, Selective Laser Melting System SLM® 280HL provides a 280 x 280 x 350 mm build envelope with single and dual laser options of 400W or 700W....

  • With multi-laser options and open parameters, SLM 280HL is flexible, fast and efficient for production-oriented environments. 3D scanning optics improve laser beam profiles and quality. Safe filter system and gas circulation allows for constant build.

    • 280 x 280 x 350 mm build platform
    • Built-in 400W or 700W Fiber Laser technology 
    • Option to add 1 additional 400W, 700W or 1000W Fiber Lasers
    • Patented bi-directional loader
    • Continuous powder conveying system
    • Open software architecture & system parameters allows you to modify according to your production needs
    • Upgraded process control
    • Optimized laminated gas flow
    • Process Stainless Steel, Tool Steel, Cobalt-Chromium, Inconel, Aluminum and Titanium
    • Further available options increase the versatility and multiple usability
  • SLM 500HL
    Considered Best-in-Class with a build speed of 55 ccm/h Twin and 105 ccm/h Quad, the SLM 500HL metal 3D printer is built to ensure operator safety and lower overall operational costs with multiple laser options....

  • Achieve faster, cost-efficient builds for larger complex parts with the SLM 500HL with unique twin or quad laser technology. 

    • 500 x 280 x 365 mm build envelope
    • 2 standard 400W Fiber Lasers
    • Option to add 2 additional 400W (total of 4-quad lasers) or upgrade to two 700W lasers
    • Integrate various types of lasers independently OR in parallel
    • Lower production cost for high volume metal parts with material saving and efficient closed-loop powder handling
    • Increase build speeds with patented bi-directional loader
    • Adapter for higher platform temperatures
    • Open software architecture & system parameters
    • Optimized laminated gas flow and re-circulation

    As the flagship additive manufacturing system for high volume metal part production, the SLM 500HL is built to ensure operator safety and lower overall operational costs. Likewise, the newly integrated SLM Build Processor and open software architecture offer the freedom of controlling system parameters to optimize and meet strict production needs.

    The SLM 500HL patented closed-loop transport of metal powder increases operator safety and eliminates time consuming manual fills and powder handling. To further reduce ancillary times, the automatic powder sieving procedure does not interfere with the parallel-running build process. The finished build cylinder is transported out of the system and the cooling process takes place inside the unpacking unit, so that the next build process can begin immediately.

    If you need high volume production of metal parts with complex geometries, the next generation SLM 500HL will allow you to achieve greater component quality and powder layer control performance. An option to add an Automated Layer Control System is also available to detect and correct powder preparation and execution after each cycle-exercising optimal quality control in your production.