Understanding Adopting Selective Laser Melting of Metallic Materials
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Additive manufacturing, considered as the future of manufacturing or the new industrial revolution, presents many advantages over conventional manufacturing. These include manufacturing integrated parts, eliminating joining processes, shortening lead times from design to testing, lightweight structures, being able to produce very complex geometries at almost no added cost, etc. Therefore, many industrial sectors such as aerospace, defense, biomedical and automotive, are getting more excited about adopting these technologies into their production lines. However, the shortage of experienced personnel in the field of Additive Manufacturing may make the transition period difficult and troublesome. Since AM technologies are rather new and immature compared to conventional manufacturing, many issues in terms of safety, environment, materials, process development, design guidelines as well as testing and validation arise. This paper will address and review lessons learned as a result of implementing selective laser melting for industrial applications as well as for research and development purposes so that this valuable outcome can be used as a guideline by beginners in this field.