SUNConferences, RAPDASA 2014

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Lameck Mugwagwa, Dimitri Dimitrov, Stephen Matope

Last modified: 2014-11-02


Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is a powder based process that offers significant flexibility in the manufacture of near net metallic parts. This additive manufacturing process has been adopted widely for tooling applications and is slowly making in-roads into aerospace component and medical implants manufacturing applications. However, achievable part quality shortcomings still exist that could render SLM undesirable. Some common quality problems are surface roughness, cracking, delaminations and dimensional distortions - most of which can be traced to residual stresses. The challenges are explored by classifying the SLM critical process parameters into three broad categories namely materials, process and product. The sub-parameters in each category are studied alongside their influence to part quality. This study explores, through literature, the current interventions in addressing the shortcomings of the SLM process. This exploratory research presents opportunities for further research in SLM process improvement and suggests how improved scanning strategies and expert systems can be adopted to improve and predict final part quality.


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