Laser Solid Freeform Fabrication (LSFF) is a flexible rapid prototyping technique in which a laser beam is used to melt and deposit the injected powder in a layer-by-layer fashion to form 3D components. In this paper, the effects of the main process parameters such as laser power and traverse speed on the surface finish of the parts fabricated using the LSFF process are investigated. Since these process parameters and their variations determine the microstructure and other resultant physical qualities of the fabricated parts, they should carefully be selected to increase the surface quality without compromising other quality aspects of the outcomes. For this purpose, along with the experimental analyses, an experimentally verified 3D time-dependent numerical model is employed to comprehensively study the temperature distributions, thermal stress fields, and their variations resulted from different process parameters and consequently different surface finishes. The experimental investigations are conducted through the fabrications of several thin walls of AISI 303L stainless steel using a fiber laser with a maximum power of 1100 W. The numerical and experimental results show under a constant power feed rate by increasing the process speed while optimizing the laser power, the surface finish of the fabricated parts can improve without compromising the melt pool conditions.

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