Selective Laser Melting (SLM) enables component geometries and functions that are almost impossible to produce using other machining or moulding processes. This new, unconventional process modifies manufacturing work-flows and generates creative design approach to provide innovative solutions for cases deemed impractical. With SLM, there is no trade off between complexity and costs. It is an alternative manufacturing technique to be considered when limitations and constraints of existing manufacturing methods impact the ability of manufacturing a desired product practically, efficiently or affordably.
New design rules for SLM
3 practical high-value benefits gained from redesigning components for SLM
1. Improving delivery time to market: 3D printing assemblies using appropriate build direction.
2. Improving lubricating and cooling performance by integrating complex internal channels
3. Improving functionalisation with cellular lattices structures
Other actual products include cross-flow heat exchanger made from stainless steel and copper, and heat-sinks made of aluminium. These could not be made any other way so cheaply and efficiently with conventional machining.
Introducing new SLM-specific design rules
- Save product delivery time;
- Save manufacturing costs;
- Improve functionalization;
- Give access to tailored rigidity in mechanical parts;
- Improve sub-components and assemblies’ performances.
 M. Wong, S. Tsopanos, C. J. Sutcliffe, and I. Owen, “Selective laser melting of heat transfer devices,” Rapid Prototyp. J., vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 291–297, 2007.
 High performance turbocharger with water-cooled casing
 K. Hazlehurst, C. J. Wang, and M. Stanford, “Evaluation of the stiffness characteristics of square pore CoCrMo cellular structures manufactured using laser melting technology for potential orthopaedic applications,” Mater. Des., vol. 51, pp. 949–955, Oct. 2013.
 R. E. Winter, M. Cotton, E. J. Harris, J. R. Maw, D. J. Chapman, D. E. Eakins, and G. McShane, “Plate-impact loading of cellular structures formed by selective laser melting,” Model. Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng., vol. 22, no. 2, p. 025021, Mar. 2014.