3D printing of metals and plastic materials has become prospective and progressive production technology. The ability to design a structure for a specifically required function without being limited by the production technology brings entirely new approaches in the area of machine design. The parts the production of which was previously difficult or even impossible, such as structured or topologically optimized parts, have now been used in power industry, aviation, bioapplications and medicine. Especially, 3D metal printing is used not only for production of prototypes but also for making the final components.
Selective laser melting (SLM) enables to produce unique parts, prototypes and test samples with complex geometries or structures, which may be hardly produced by conventional technologies. The part is made by gradual application of thin layers of metallic powder, which are melted by the laser. This process leads to production of homogeneous metal parts based on 3D CAD data. The part is built in an inert atmosphere (Argon or Nitrogen) to prevent oxidation of metals, enabling to work with reactive materials. We are able to process materials like titanium (TiAl6V4), aluminium alloys (AlSi12, AlSi10Mg) and stainless steel (1.4404, 1.4410). The size of the parts is limited by the size of building chamber which is 280 x 280 x 365 mm. We also develop process parameters of new materials and we deal with testing of mechanical and fatigue properties.