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DMLS service recommendations

Postby iab » October 6th, 2015, 9:48 am


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Looking for a direct metal laser sintering house. I would like to make some stainless bicycle lugs. Basically 2 38mm tubes with a 1.2mm wall conjoined.

I've done the random Google thing. How about a recommendation instead?

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby FH13 » October 6th, 2015, 12:22 pm


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I did some quoting a while back. Crazy expensive. Is machining them out of the question?

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby FH13 » October 6th, 2015, 12:34 pm


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I got quotes from Quickparts and ProtoLabs (Fineline Additive Manufacturing). The bigger companies are acquiring the smaller guys + I have a feeling they might also be outsourcing some of their jobs to prototype houses in Asia as well.
Best bet is to get 3 quotes and talk to them about the material and finish since it will make a difference.
At the end we ended up getting the parts we needed machined in SS from a prototype house in China, but it would take about 2 weeks lead time.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby iab » October 6th, 2015, 12:56 pm


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I have an rfq from Star out of China. I've used them before. Fineline threw me a crazy high number then I tried a random place and they were 1/3 the price of Fineline. I'd like to stay away from random picks but this is a new process to me.

As for machining, I have gotten 3 no ways so far. Complicated 6-axis stuff with a think wall. I imagine making the fixtures to hold the stuff could be a problem.

I am also looking into a rapid investment cast. Print the parts out of wax, etc.

Here are some screen grabs of the models.

ImageLugs09 by iabisdb, on Flickr

ImageLugs11 by iabisdb, on Flickr

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby FH13 » October 6th, 2015, 1:36 pm


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Same here. I was very hesitant to use DMLS because of high cost, prices varied so much, and tight tolerances were a must... and all 3 bureaus had different orientation & finishing options.
We have used RP prototype in China.
http://www.rpprototype.com/
Emelda Cariaga - emelda@rpprototype.com

You can contact them and see what they say.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby KenoLeon » October 6th, 2015, 2:12 pm

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Just curious, would something like Shapeways steel not be up to your tolerances,price range...

http://www.shapeways.com/materials/steel?li=nav
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Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby Dan Lewis » October 6th, 2015, 4:00 pm

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Investment cast stainless will give you a better finish.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby iab » October 6th, 2015, 4:08 pm


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Shapeways "steel" is 40% bronze and melts at 1600F. Stainless anneals at 1900F and melts at 2800F.

While an interesting material, I need the strength of stainless.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby iab » October 6th, 2015, 4:09 pm


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Dan Lewis wrote:Investment cast stainless will give you a better finish.


Probably less sanding and polishing time with IC. But I'm time rich, cash poor. Easy math for me.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby Sain » October 6th, 2015, 4:47 pm

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iab wrote:
Dan Lewis wrote:Investment cast stainless will give you a better finish.


Probably less sanding and polishing time with IC. But I'm time rich, cash poor. Easy math for me.



You can prob can find someone with a Formlabs and casting resin to get you a quote. Will be cheaper than Shapeways. etc.

Ex. https://www.3dhubs.com/calgary/hubs/gary
emmanuel carrillo - emmanuelcarrillo.com

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby Dan Lewis » October 7th, 2015, 8:27 am

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iab wrote:
Dan Lewis wrote:Investment cast stainless will give you a better finish.


Probably less sanding and polishing time with IC. But I'm time rich, cash poor. Easy math for me.


I think direct investment casting from a wax RP will be less costly than DMLS.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby iab » October 7th, 2015, 11:12 am


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Dan Lewis wrote:I think direct investment casting from a wax RP will be less costly than DMLS.


I think you are right, but it is too early to call at this time. Not a lot of places like making a one-off, rapid IC or DMLS. I have a lot of rfqs out there but not a lot of replies.

I need to start to call with a follow-up. You get a better response.

Re: DMLS service recommendations

Postby iab » October 7th, 2015, 11:13 am


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FH13 wrote:You can contact them and see what they say.


Can't hurt. Thanks for the lead!


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