Direct Metal Laser Sintering

Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is an industrial 3D printing process that builds fully functional - rapid metal prototypes and production parts in 7 days or less. A range of metals produce final parts that can be used for end-use applications.

DMLS design guidelines will help you understand capabilities and limitations.

Why Choose DMLS For Your 3D Printing Project?

DMLS materials are generally accepted to be equal or better than those of wrought materials. DMLS is also ideal when the geometry or structure of the part is not possible in any other process (for weight saving designs using honeycomb or latice structures for example). Protolabs can also produce parts for implant medical applications. We offer a range of secondary CNC machining services to further enhance your DMLS project.

DMLS material data sheets can be found in our Material Comparison Guide

How Does Metal 3D Printing Work?

The DMLS machine begins begins the 3d metal printing process by sintering each layer—first the support structures to the base plate, then the part itself—with a laser aimed onto a bed of metallic powder. After a cross-section layer of powder is micro-welded, the build platform shifts down and a recoater blade moves across the platform to deposit the next layer of powder into an inert build chamber. The process is repeated layer by layer until the build is complete.

When the build finishes, an initial brushing is manually administered to parts to remove a majority of loose powder, followed by the appropriate heat-treat cycle while still fixtured in the support systems to relieve any stresses. Parts are removed from the platform and support structures are removed from the parts, then finished with any needed bead blasting and deburring. Final DMLS parts are near 100 percent dense.

3DP icon logo
  • 1 to 50+ parts
  • Shipped in 1 to 7 days
Common Applications
  • prototyping in production-grade materials
  • functional, end-use parts
  • reducing metal components in an assembly


What is Industrial 3D Printing?

Proto Labs is the world's fastest source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. Our high-speed 3D printing service uses advanced 3D printing technologies to create parts ranging from highly complex prototypes to functional, end-use parts. A range of plastic and metal materials are available through three additive processes: stereolithography (SL), selective laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). Get 1 to 50+ parts in as fast as one day with 3D printing at Proto Labs.


Watch: Who Can Benefit From 3D Printing?

3D printing offers stunning flexibility for manufacturers from a wide range of industries, from aerospace to medicine to consumer electronics. It can open up manufacturing and prototyping possibilities for smaller businesses, giving them the opportunity to create quality precision parts quickly, easily, and affordably.

The creation process for 3D printing is easy and intuitive, and with Protolabs’ commercial-grade equipment and rigorous quality control, we can offer unparalleled service and creative opportunity, along with fast and efficient delivery.

Can 3D printing revolutionise your business? Watch this video and find out.

Design Guidelines

Our basic guidelines for DMLS include important design considerations to help improve part manufacturability, enhance cosmetic appearance, and reduce overall production time.


a metal 3D printing technician removes support structures from a DMLS part

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