Yes, you can. Depending on part size and quantity, the DMLS additive manufacturing technology may be a good option for prototyping components that will go to production using other manufacturing methods. With large bulkier parts, it may not make sense, but it can be a quick and cost effective method of design optimization. You can reduce lead and turnaround times.
Plus, you are working with end-use materials, making it easier for you to test those parts. Once the design’s been optimized through DMLS, you can shift to higher volume conventional process or maintain production using the DMLS process.
For example, you could use DMLS to prototype a concept, and then move into metal injection molding to produce thousands of parts per week. If you have large upfront costs for tooling, it makes sense to prototype and optimize the design of the part using the DMLS process.
While DMLS opens up new design options, it will never replace conventional manufacturing methods. It’s another tool in the “toolbox.”
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