Surface roughness is a well-known consequence of additive manufacturing methods, particularly powder bed fusion processes. To properly design parts for additive manufacturing, a comprehensive understanding of the inherent roughness is necessary. While many researchers have measured different surface roughness resultant from a variety of parameters in the laser powder bed fusion process, few have succeeded in determining causal relationships due to the large number of variables at play.
To assist the community in understanding the roughness in laser powder bed fusion processes, this study explored several studies from the literature to identify common trends and discrepancies amongst roughness data. Then, an experimental study was carried out to explore the influence of certain process parameters on surface roughness. Through these comparisons, certain local and global roughness trends have been identified and discussed, as well as a new framework for considering the effect of process parameters on surface roughness.