Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Thomas J. Mackin


Optimal print parameters for additively manufacturing 316L stainless steel using selective laser melting (SLM) at Cal Poly had previously been identified. In order to further support the viability of the current settings, tensile material characteristics were needed. Furthermore, reliable performance of the as-printed material had to be demonstrated. Any influence on the static performance of parts in the as-printed condition inherent to the SLM manufacturing process itself needed to be identified. Tensile testing was conducted to determine the properties of material in the as-printed condition. So as to have confidence in the experimental results, other investigations were also conducted to validate previous assumptions. Stereological relative density measurements showed that the as-printed material exhibited relative density in excess of 99%. Optical dimensional analysis found that the as-printed tensile specimens met ASTM E8 dimensional requirements in 14 out of 15 parts inspected. Baseline tensile tests indicated that the yield stress of the as-printed material is 24% higher than a cold-rolled alternative, while still achieving comparable ductility. The location of a tensile specimen on the build plate during the print was not found to have a significant effect on its mechanical properties. Theoretical behavior of notched tensile specimens based on finite element models matched experimental behavior in the actual specimens. Unique fracture behavior was found in both the unnotched reference and the most severe notch after microscopic inspection, and a root cause was proposed. Finally, extrapolating from previous studies and observing that experimental results matched theoretical models, it was determined that features inherent to SLM parts were not detrimental to the static performance of the as-printed material.