Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Industrial Engineering


College of Engineering


Xuan Wang

Advisor Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


In this project, the scan strategy of selective laser melting (SLM) for thin walled structures was investigated by changing laser parameters and tool path. Producing thin walled structures is difficult due to defects such as warpage and porosity. A layer on the SLM 125 consists of hatch volume, fill contours, and borders, however, for thin walls, hatch volume can become unavailable, resulting in a solely border/fill contour laser tool path.

Three central composite designs (CCD) were created to optimize the laser parameters of borders to minimize leakage rate and porosity. The two factors changed were border laser power and scanning speed. The center points of the CCDs were 0.24 J/mm, 0.20 J/mm, and 0.16 J/mm, respectively. This border linear energy density value was calculated by (border laser power / border scanning speed).

A machined aluminum fixture was designed and assembled with pneumatics to perform a pressure drop leakage test. Additionally, micrographs of 500μm and 200μm wall thicknesses were analyzed to study between and within layers as well as melt pool dimensions. In the 200μm thick samples, there was delamination and insufficient overlap in border only prints. For border only prints, a lower border linear energy density is recommended, similar to Cal Poly’s hatch volume optimized parameters of 0.15 J/mm.