Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/2050
Date of Award
MS in Industrial Engineering
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Selective Laser Melting is a rapidly developing additive manufacturing technique that can be used to create unique metal parts with tailormade properties not possible using traditional manufacturing. To understand the process from a most basic level, this study investigates system capabilities when melting single tracks of material. Individual tracks allow for a wide range of scan speeds and laser powers to be utilized and the melt pools analyzed. I discuss how existing studies and simulations can be used to narrow down the selection of potentially successful parameter combinations as well as the limitations of interpretation for single track information. Once we attain a solid understanding of what parameters perform well at a bead level, we can move onto looking at complete 3D parts. A challenge we have faced is creating near fully dense parts and determining a reliable density measurement technique that is accessible for operators at our university. Our results show that the previously determined optimized scan speed and laser power can consistently create parts with >99.5% density over a range of sizes using an analysis method utilizing readily available equipment and software.