Both Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) produce objects in a similar manner to SLS. The main difference is that these types of 3D printing technology are applied to the production of metal parts. SLM uses a high power-density laser to melt and fuse metallic powders together.
SLM manufactures functional components with high structural integrity at a low cost. The technology is compatible with various materials including biocompatible titanium alloys.
Unlike SLS, the DMLS and SLM processes require structural support. This is to limit the possibility of any distortion that may occur.
DMLS/SLM parts are at risk of warping due to the residual stresses produced during printing, because of the high temperatures. Parts are also typically heat-treated after printing, while still attached to the build plate, to relieve any stresses in the parts after printing.