Selective laser melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing technique in which metal products are manufactured in a layer-by-layer manner. One of the main advantages of SLM is the large geometrical design freedom. Because of the layered build, parts with inner cavities can be produced. However, complex structures, such as downfacing areas, influence the process behavior significantly. The downfacing areas can be either horizontal or inclined structures. The first part of this work describes the process parameter optimization for noncomplex, upfacing structures to obtain relative densities above 99%. In the second part of this research, parameters are optimized for downfacing areas, both horizontal and inclined. The experimental results are compared to simulations of a thermal model, which calculates the melt pool dimensions based on the material properties (such as thermal conductivity) and process parameters (such as laser power and scan speed). The simulations show a great similarity between the thermal model and the actual process.
Optimization of Scan Strategies in Selective Laser Melting of Aluminum Parts With Downfacing Areas
Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 15, 2014; final manuscript received September 9, 2014; published online October 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Darrell Wallace.
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Mertens, R., Clijsters, S., Kempen, K., and Kruth, J. (October 24, 2014). "Optimization of Scan Strategies in Selective Laser Melting of Aluminum Parts With Downfacing Areas." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. December 2014; 136(6): 061012. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4028620
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