Multi-Beam Strategies for the Optimization of the Selective Laser Melting Process

Heeling, T.
Zimmermann, L.
Wegener, K.
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University of Texas at Austin

The additive manufacturing of metal parts is of increasing importance for various industry sectors, but processes like selective laser melting are still lacking of robustness especially in the case of hard to process materials. The local adjustment of temperature fields around the melt pool seems promising to decrease melt pool and stress related defects because the boundary conditions can be tailored to positively influence the melt pool dynamics and lifetime as well as the temperature gradients which are the main reason for distortion and cracking. Therefore a selective laser melting laboratory machine was built up which features two independent lasers and beam deflection units which are adapted to synchronization. To discuss the usability of different synchronized multi-beam strategies for further process improvement, computational and experimental evaluations are used to investigate the strategies‘ influences on the process dynamics of the selective laser melting process.