In simple terms, Laser Metal Sintering is the use of laser power harnessed to enable the sintering or fusing of powdered metal to form an organic 3D shape.
The atoms in the powdered metal are fused by heat and pressure without melting.
To enable to the laser technology, a CAD (Computed Aided Design) design STL file is created and used in a similar way to existing 3D printing processes. A specialist Laser Sintering machine interprets the design file and uses additive manufacturing technology to create the final piece.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing is a description for technologies that use a system that adds very thin layers of material together on top of each other to form a three dimensional shape.
In terms of pure design Jewellers may benefit from Direct Metal Laser Sintering because it can remove the need for the supports and or restrictions usually apparent in the casting process. This new technology is not a replacement for casting, but it is useful for designing and producing items with certain types of complex designs.
It should be noted that both Sintering and Casting do both produce models that will require some finishing and polishing before they are ready for retail.
Laser Sintering technology is an additive manufacturing process called Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). DMLS was originally developed by the EOS Firm in Germany, who have partnered with Cooksongold to make this new technology called PRECIOUS M 080 now available.