Defect Formation Mechanisms in Selective Laser Melting: A Review
Chin. J. Mech. Eng.
Defect Formation Mechanisms in Selective Laser Melting: A Review
Bi Zhang 0 1
Yongtao Li 0 1
Qian Bai 0 1
0 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut , Storrs, CT 06269 , USA
1 Key Laboratory for Precision and Non-traditional Machining Technology of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology , Dalian 116024 , China
Defect formation is a common problem in selective laser melting (SLM). This paper provides a review of defect formation mechanisms in SLM. It summarizes the recent research outcomes on defect findings and classification, analyzes formation mechanisms of the common defects, such as porosities, incomplete fusion holes, and cracks. The paper discusses the effect of the process parameters on defect formation and the impact of defect formation on the mechanical properties of a fabricated part. Based on the discussion, the paper proposes strategies for defect suppression and control in SLM. Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51605077), Science Challenge Project (Grant No. CKY2016212A506-0101) and Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of NSFC (Grant No. 51621064).
Selective laser melting; Process parameters; Defect; Mechanical properties
Additive manufacturing (AM) is an approach in which a
part is manufactured layer by layer from the data of a 3D
model. AM is a ‘‘bottom-up’’ approach as opposed to the
traditional subtractive manufacturing that is often referred
to as the ‘‘top-down’’ approach [
]. The AM approach
does not require the traditional tools, fixtures and
complicated procedures. Therefore, it can offer an advantage of
economically fabricating a customized part with complex
geometries in a rapid design-to-manufacture cycle. With
the development of high energy beams, it becomes possible
to manufacture metal parts of high performance. Due to its
unique advantages, the AM approach has been widely
applied in many industries, such as aerospace, medical
devices, military and automobile [
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is one of the additive
manufacturing processes. It is relatively mature and has been
a research focus in manufacturing metallic parts [
schematic layout of a typical SLM setup is presented in Fig. 1
]. During the SLM process, data is provided from a CAD
model which is then sliced into thin layers. Each sliced layer
is further developed with the appropriate scan paths. Through
the scanner mirrors, a laser beam selectively scans and melts
the powders that are previously paved on the substrate
according to the developed scan paths. After a layer is
finished, the building platform is lowered by an amount equal to
the layer thickness, and a new layer of powders is paved. The
process repeats until the completion of the whole part. To
date, the SLM process is able to fabricate metallic parts from
different material powders, such as titanium alloys [
nickel-based superalloys [
], aluminum alloys [
and stainless steels [
Although the SLM process offers a great advantage in
manufacturing complex parts at a high material utilization
], it is affected by many factors, such as laser
energy input and scan speed, scan strategy, powder
material, powder size and morphology. The SLM process
consists of complicated physics, such as absorption and
transmission of laser energy [
], rapid melting and
solidification of material, microstructure evolution [
flow in a molten pool , and materials evaporation [
The process is thus affected by the aforementioned factors
to form defects of porosities, incomplete fusion holes,
cracks, and impurities, etc. These defects are detrimental to
a fabricated part in terms of its mechanical and physical
properties, which in turn limits the application of SLM
Since defect formation is a critical issue in an SLM
process, research has been directed towards understanding
and suppression of defect formation [
]. This paper
reviews the recent research outcomes on the types and
formation mechanisms of the common SLM defects, such
as porosities, incomplete fusion holes, and cracks. The
paper also reveals how the SLM defects may affect the
mechanical properties of a fabricated part. Other defects,
such as metallic inclusions, segregations, residual stresses,
metallurgical imperfections may also have a significant
impact on the mechanical properties of a fabricated part,
their respective formation mechanisms will be reviewed in
a separate paper and published elsewhere. Finally, the
paper provides a reference for defect suppression and
control in the SLM processes.
2 Defect Types
Many parameters are involved in an SLM process, such as
laser power, scan speed, hatch spacing, layer thickness,
powder materials and chamber environment. Defects are
inevitably introduced if any of these parameters are
improperly chosen. The common defects are classified in
three types: porosities, incomplete fusion holes, and cracks.
A porosity is usually small in size, typically less than
100 lm with an approximately spherical shape, as shown
in Fig. 2 by arrows. The formation mechanisms of
porosities are described as follows [
7, 23, 24, 28
Firstly, if the packing density of metal powders is low,
e.g., 50 percent, the gas present between the powder
particles may dissolve in the molten pool. Because of the high
cooling rate during the solidification process, the dissolved
gas cannot come out of the surface of the molten pool
before solidification takes place. Porosities are thus formed
and remain in the fabricated part. Porosities may also be
formed when metal powders of a hollow structure are
utilized in an SLM process. On the other hand, the molten
pool temperature is generally high due to the intense laser
power. At this temperature, gas solubility in the liquid
metal is high, making its enrichment easier. Furthermore,
in the process of preparing powder materials, gas is
inevitably introduced into the powder materials, especially
the gas atomized powder materials in the scope of
protection by an inert gas, such as argon or helium.
Qiu et al [
] observe that the porosities contain ridges
in the internal surfaces and are thus probably associated
with the incomplete re-melting of some local surfaces from
the previous layers. The ridges form small volumes to
which the molten metal is difficult to flow and penetrate.
On the other hand, Gong et al [
] attribute these porosities
to gas bubbles generated when a high laser energy is
applied to the molten pool. Gas bubbles can be induced due
to vaporization of low melting point constituents within an
alloy. They can be far beneath the surface at the bottom of
the molten pool. The high solidification rate of the molten
pool does not give gas bubbles sufficient time to rise and
escape from the surface. Thus, gas bubbles are trapped in
the molten pool, resulting in defect inclusions of regular
spherical porosities in the forming part.
It is therefore understood that such spherical porosities
are generally resulted from the entrapped gases in the
molten pool due to the excessive energy input or
unstable process conditions. The spherical porosities are
randomly distributed in an SLM fabricated part, and
difficult to eliminate completely.
2.2 Incomplete Fusion Holes
Incomplete fusion holes, also known as lack-of-fusion
(LOF) defects, are mainly due to the lack of energy input
during an SLM process. The formation of the LOF defects
is because the metal powders are not fully melted to deposit
a new layer on the previous layer with a sufficient overlap
]. An LOF defect may contain numerous un-melted
metal powders, as shown in Fig. 3(b) . There are two
types of LOF defects: (1) poor bonding defects due to
insufficient molten metal during a solidification process, as
in Fig. 3(a), and (2) defects with un-melted metal powders
in Fig. 3(b).
In the SLM process, a laser selectively melts the metal
powders point by point, line by line, and layer by layer to
complete the whole part. If the laser energy input is low,
the width of the molten pool is small, which results in an
insufficient overlap between the scan tracks. The
insufficient overlap is a cause of formation of the
unmelted powders between the scan tracks. In the deposition
process of a new layer, it becomes difficult to fully re-melt
these powders. As a consequence, incomplete fusion holes
are formed and remain in the SLM fabricated part.
Furthermore, if the laser energy input is too low to cause an
enough penetration depth of the molten pool, LOF defects
may be generated due to a poor interlayer bonding
24, 29, 37
]. Therefore, LOF defects are usually distributed
between the scan tracks and the deposited layers.
Moreover, in a location where defects have been
generated, the surface of the location becomes rough. The
rough surface directly contributes to the poor flow of the
molten metal to form interlayer defects. The interlayer
defects may gradually extend and propagate upwards to
form large multi-layer defects in a continuous deposition
For the easily oxidized alloy materials, such as
aluminum AlSi10Mg, a layer of oxide film is usually produced
at the surface of a part with residual oxygen in the SLM
process. Then wettability decreases and molten metal flow
is blocked, leading to a poor bonding between the layers to
form the incomplete fusion defects [
]. Fig. 4 shows
an image of an incomplete fusion defect. From the EDX
(Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer) data presented in
Table 1, location 2 of an incomplete fusion defect is rich in
oxygen, suggesting that this irregular defect should be
associated with the presence of an oxide layer which could
prevent the progress of bonding .
In an SLM process, metal powders experience rapid
melting and rapid solidification under a high local laser
energy input. The cooling rate of the molten pool reaches
108 K/s [
], which creates a great temperature gradient
and correspondingly a large residual thermal stress in the
fabricated part. The high temperature gradient combined
with the great residual stress often causes crack initiation
and propagation in a fabricated part [
22, 40, 41
Fig. 5(a) shows the crack morphology in an SLM
fabricated titanium part. Cracks are more prone to initiating
from the as-built surface that is adhered with the partially
melted metal powders. Fig. 5(b) shows the microstructure
on both sides of a crack. It can be observed that elongated
needle-type crystal grains are continued on the both sides
of the crack, indicating a typical transgranular mode of
For stainless steels and nickel-based superalloys,
because of their low thermal conductivity and high thermal
expansion coefficient, they are more vulnerable to
generating cracks with high susceptibility to cracking in an SLM
9, 27, 42, 43
]. To solve this problem, pre-heating
the substrate and improving the ambient temperature are
recommended to reduce the cracks in the SLM fabricated
3 Effect of Process Factors on Defect Formation
Many process factors are involved in an SLM process.
Some of the factors are process parameters that can be
predetermined, while the others cannot be predetermined
since they are generated from the SLM process. As
described in Fig. 6, the major process factors can be
classified into four types: laser-related, scan-related,
powderrelated, and temperature-related. Based on the principle
that laser selectively melts the powders, the major factors
which are related to defect formation in an SLM process
are laser energy input, powder material, and scan strategy.
Therefore, the following Sections 3.1-3.3 are dedicated to
discussing defect formation in terms of the three factors.
3.1 Effect of Laser Energy Input
Laser energy input directly determines the melt condition
of metal powders, the flow of molten metal, which has a
significant impact on the type and size of the defects in an
SLM process. The energy input in the material can be
related to the main process parameters, such as laser power,
scan speed, hatch spacing, and layer thickness.
At a relatively low scan speed and a high laser power,
the energy input is high, more powders are melted at an
elevated temperature, porosity defects are created. These
defects can be attributed to the entrapped gas originated
from the raw material powders in the SLM process as
mentioned above. In addition, low melting point
constituents, e.g., Al, Mg elements in the alloy, may evaporate
into gas to form gas bubbles. During the rapid solidification
process in SLM, the gas bubbles do not have sufficient time
to escape from the molten pool to the pool surface. They
remain within the molten pool to form porosity defects of a
spherical shape [
]. On the other hand, the molten
pool becomes large if energy input is high, which causes
powder denudation around the molten pool. The
denudation process results in insufficient molten metal to fill the
gap between the adjacent tracks. Large porosities are thus
Furthermore, a relatively low scan speed and a high
energy input may result in a high residual thermal stress in
a rapid melting and solidification process. The higher the
energy input, the more severe the contraction of the molten
metal in the solidification process. A high residual stress is
induced during the solidification process [
22, 40, 45
shown in Fig. 7(a), with a high energy input, micro-cracks
are observed in an SLM CP-Ti part. Conversely, almost no
defects are found when an appropriate energy input is
utilized, as shown in Fig. 7(b).
At a relatively high scan speed and a low laser power,
the energy input is too low to fully melt the powders,
generating a discontinuous molten pool. This makes it
difficult to fully melt the powders between the adjacent
tracks to form an effective overlap, resulting in the
formation of incomplete fusion defects. In addition, if a
large powder thickness causes an insufficient penetration of
the laser energy input, an effective overlap may not be
developed between layers, causing the formation of
interlayer incomplete fusion defects [
24, 29, 45, 46
Fig. 8 shows two different defect types in the SLM
fabricated titanium alloys under two different energy input
conditions (laser power and other parameters remain
constant, but scan speed varies) [
]. Fig. 8(a) describes the
regular spherical defects under the higher energy input
conditions. Conversely, Fig. 8(b) shows irregular
incomplete fusion holes under the lower energy input conditions.
Generally, energy density E is widely used to
characterize energy input, which is a measure of the average
applied energy per unit volume of the deposited material in
an SLM process. Eq. (1) provides a representation of
energy density E (J/mm3):
E ¼ v h t ; ð1Þ
where P is laser power (W); v is scan speed (mm/s); h is
hatch spacing (mm); and t is layer thickness (mm). The
parameters in the equation reflect the impact of overlap
between tracks, layer thickness and energy input and can
easily be determined. Therefore, as a representation of
energy input, this equation is used widely in the SLM
7, 29, 48
Fig. 9 shows a scatter plot for both the void and defect
fractions (%) as well as crack density that is represented by
crack length per unit cross-sectional area (mm/mm )
against energy density E (J/mm3) in the SLM fabrication of
high temperature Ni-superalloy and porosity in SLM
Titanium parts [
]. As seen from the figure, with an
increase in the energy density, more material is melted,
void fraction is quickly reduced, especially when the
energy density exceeds 70 J/mm3. A similar result can be
acquired from the calculation results by different research
groups on energy density calculation for the SLM
fabricated titanium parts, but the appropriate energy density is
different due to different materials [
7, 22, 28, 47–52
Conversely, the crack density shows a slight increase with
the increase in energy density due to the large thermal
stress caused by the excessive energy input.
Therefore, as an integrated parameter, energy density
represents the combined effect of the major process
parameters on defect formation in an SLM process. Energy
density is handy to use in selecting the appropriate laser
power, scan speed, hatch spacing, layer thickness to
minimize the defects and improve the manufacturing efficiency
in the SLM process.
3.2 Effect of Powder Materials
The morphology and size of metal powders have a
significant influence on the powder bed smoothness and
powder flowability, thus are strictly required in an SLM
process. Metal powders are produced in different methods,
such as water atomization, gas atomization, plasma rotating
electrode and electrolytic method, which has a diverse
effect on defect formation [
]. In addition, the gas
contained in the powders increases the probability of defect
Wang et al [
] examined the effect of different powder
sizes of the 316L stainless steel on the part quality in the
SLM process. They reported that the metal powders of a
smaller size tended to reduce porosities in the fabricated
parts compared to those of a larger size. The relative
density reached 99.75% with the average powder size of
26.36 lm, which was compared to 97.50% with the
average powder size of 50.81 lm. Li et al [
] explored the
densification behavior of gas and water atomized 316L
stainless steel powders. As shown in Fig. 10, the gas
atomized powders possessed spherical shapes compared to
irregular shapes of the water atomized powders. The results
demonstrated that the parts fabricated with the gas
atomized powders acquired a higher relative density, less
porosity compared to those with the water atomized
powders, which can be attributed to the differences in
morphology, packing density, flowability and oxygen contents
between the two powders.
3.3 Effect of Scan Strategy
Scan strategy directly affects the heat transfer, powders
melting and solidification, and ultimately defect location
and distribution. Generally, three different scan strategies
have been utilized in the SLM processes, namely
‘‘unidirectional’’, ‘‘zigzag’’, and ‘‘cross-hatching’’, as shown in
Fig. 11 [
]. For the unidirectional and zigzag scan
strategies, at the beginning and end of a scan track, laser power
is usually unstable and scan speed is gradually reduced,
which tends to result in a relatively higher laser energy
input and defect formation [
]. In addition, the
impurities in the powders may also be pushed to the ends of
a track in the densification process to form higher defect
density. Actually, incomplete fusion defects are more
frequently generated between the scan tracks and layers
]. Cross-hatching scan strategy can make the entire
laser energy input more balanced in the whole layers,
which effectively prevents defect accumulation and
The ‘‘island scan strategy’’ has been developed for parts
fabrication, as illustrated in Fig. 12 [
]. Firstly, the filled
layer is divided into several islands with each island being
built randomly and continuously. Then the successive
layers are displaced in a certain distance, so as to avoid the
accumulation of defects in the same location. Furthermore,
the residual thermal stress in the SLM fabricated parts can
be more balanced to reduce cracks development. However,
due to the problem of potentially unstable laser energy
input and the change in scan orders, defects are generally
formed at the border of small islands, which needs further
improvements for the ‘‘island scan strategy’’.
Yang et al [
] applied the interlayer staggering and
the orthogonal scan strategy to reducing the defects formed
in the overlapping zone between tracks. As shown in
Fig. 13, after one layer is completed, the laser scans the
overlapping zone between the adjacent tracks to
sufficiently melt powders in the next layer deposition. The
orthogonal scan strategy is adopted in the next layer, so
that energy input can be more balanced for reducing
defects, as previously also mentioned.
4 Influence of Defects on Mechanical Properties
Defects in an SLM process cause stress concentration in
the fabricated part, which may lead to the part failure.
When stress exceeds the material limit, a crack may form
and gradually propagate in the part. The following
Sections 4.1-4.2 are dedicated to discussing the influence of
defects on the mechanical properties in the SLM parts.
4.1 Tensile Properties
As mentioned earlier, the metallic powders suffer a rapid
melting and solidification in the SLM process, due to a
large cooling rate, which produces a part with a finer grain
microstructure and better tensile properties than those
made of the traditional wrought counterparts
17, 30, 61, 62
]. The tensile strength (TS), ultimate tensile
strength (UTS), and elongation of the SLM titanium alloy
parts are shown in Table 2. Both TS and UTS of the SLM
titanium alloys are higher than their wrought counterpart,
generally above 1,000 MPa. Therefore, the SLM titanium
alloys can meet the tensile strength requirements for
engineering applications. However, the elongations of the
SLM titanium alloys are rather low (less than 10%), which
may be attributed to the defects in the SLM parts.
Furthermore, the SLM process has a directional effect on
the properties of the forming parts due to its basic
deposition principle. The directional effect is a direct cause of the
severe anisotropy in the mechanical properties of the
fabricated part. For a part fabricated based on the orthogonal
Table 2 Tensile Properties of SLM-Fabricated Ti6Al4V Alloys and
scan strategy shown in Fig. 13, defects may be formed and
distributed in the horizontal direction, resulting in the
obvious reduction of the load-bearing cross-section area in
the fabricated part [
]. If the loading direction coincides
with the building direction, the part is more susceptible to
failure, leading to a low strength of the part [
24, 37, 67
addition, because of the epitaxial growth in the SLM
process, the elongated columnar grains in the fabricated part
also aggravate anisotropy of the part [
4.2 Fatigue Properties
For an SLM fabricated part, defects are more detrimental to
its fatigue strength due to the points of stress concentration.
A defect often serves as a source of crack initiation and
propagation, which may greatly reduce the fatigue strength
of the part. The stochastic distribution of the defects also
aggravates the scattering of fatigue life, which may severely
restrict the application of the SLM fabrication.
Fig. 14 shows the results on fatigue life obtained from
the literature on the SLM Ti6Al4V parts and their wrought
]. In Fig. 14, the filled dots represent
the parts that were not post-processed (‘‘as-built’’), while
the unfilled dots were subjected to machining. Due to the
presence of both internal and surface defects, the fatigue
strength of the ‘‘as-built’’ SLM samples was approximately
200 MPa, far below that of their wrought counterparts.
After machining, the SLM samples showed a slightly
improved fatigue life, but still lower than that of the
The morphology, number, size and location of defects
all have a significant influence on the fatigue life of the
SLM fabricated parts. Generally, the spherical defects have
less influence on the fatigue life of a part due to their
regular shapes and small size. On the other hand, the
defects of an irregular shape (e.g., an incomplete fusion
hole) promote stress concentration of a part so as to
seriously reduce fatigue strength of the part because of the
irregular shapes and larger sizes of the defects [
Gong et al [
] tested the SLM fabricated parts
containing different numbers and types of defects, and found
that the spherical defects had less influence on the fatigue
life when the level of such defects was less than 1%, as
shown in Fig. 15. However, the fatigue life was
considerably decreased when these defects were amounted at the
level of 5% porosity. Conversely, the irregular defects were
found significantly detrimental to the fatigue life even
when present in an amount as low as 1% porosity. When a
part containing such defects in a higher amount of 5% in
porosity, the part tended to have a low fatigue life with a
narrow trend of dispersion, which suggests that the defects
be so seriously detrimental to the fatigue life of the part
even the statistical nature of fatigue life is defeated.
Kasperovich et al [
] tested the parts that were
differently post-processed, namely, ‘‘as-built’’,
‘‘surface-machined’’, ‘‘heat-treated’’, ‘‘hot isostatically pressed’’ (HIP,
which is used in the traditional powder metallurgy and
foundry technology, allows not only to adjust the
microstructure, but also to fuse un-melted particles and
generate ‘‘kissing bonds’’). As shown in Fig. 16, after
machining, the surface microcrack sources of parts are
removed, enhancing the fatigue cycle of a part. The heat
treatment process merely improves the microstructure of
the part, but does not reduce or eliminate the defects. In
this regard, the process can hardly improve the fatigue life
of the parts. However, the HIP process may collapse the
defects up to a certain size at an elevated temperature and
pressure, reducing the number and size of the defects, and
therefore improving the fatigue life of a part.
Leuders et al [
52, 63, 73
] studied the mechanical
properties and the growth mechanisms of fatigue cracks in
the SLM titanium parts. Their results indicated that defects
had a major impact on the fatigue life of the parts,
especially at the stage of fatigue crack initiation. Due to the
presence of defects, stress concentration could occur,
causing crack initiation and consequently a decrease in
fatigue strength. Leuders et al also analyzed the effect of
defect location on the fatigue strength in their research.
When a defect was located near the surface of a part, its
fatigue life was shorter in comparison with that located far
from the surface, indicating that defect location is critical
to the fatigue strength of the part. Surface treatment, such
as machining and shot peening, can be adopted to suppress
or eliminate the near-surface defects so as to enhance part
However, since it is difficult to accurately control the
type, number, and location of a defect in a fabricated part,
the fatigue strength of a part can be in jeopardy. Therefore,
the fatigue strength of an SLM fabricated part is still
questionable and needs to be improved.
5 Strategies for Defect Suppression
Defect suppression is a challenging issue in the SLM
process. Currently, there are two major strategies to
suppress defect formation in the SLM processes, namely
online detection and numerical simulation, in addition to
machining to reduce or eliminate defects.
Clijsters et al [
] designed a high-speed and real-time
molten pool monitoring system, consisting of four
modules, namely optical set-up, data processing, reference data
and quality estimation. For each layer of deposition, the
information of molten pool in the form of a light signal was
collected by sensors, then transferred to a data processing
module to establish the molten pool image, then used to
analyze the location and size of defects compared with
reference data to get the characteristics of molten pool to
deduce defect formation information. Finally, the analysis
results were used for the feedback control to optimize the
process, and to reduce defect formation in the SLM
Panwisawas et al [
] established a mathematical model of
thermal fluid dynamics to better understand the morphological
evolution of porosity during an SLM process. According to the
deposition mechanism of the heating-melting-solidification
cycles of metal powders, a thermal fluid dynamics model
based on the Navier-Stokes equation, surface tension,
capillary force, and Marangoni effect was introduced to explore the
evolution of porosity as the scan speed increased. The results
showed that for a fixed laser input power, increasing scan
speed reduced energy input density, resulting in serious
unfused defects in the interlayers.
It is an effective research strategy to combine the three
methods, i.e., the traditional optimization test, the
numerical simulation calculation and the online detection, for a
systematic study on the defect formation and control in the
SLM processes. As shown in Fig. 17, online detection is
conducted for obtaining information on defect morphology,
location and dimensions through detection sensors, data
processing, image analysis and feedback control. The
detected defects can be eliminated by the successive
subtractive process. On the other hand, the strategy should also
investigate defect formation and evolution mechanisms,
including material melt-flow behavior, solidification and
shrinkage, the interaction effect of surface tension,
capillary force and gravity, by using the numerical simulation
method. Finally, combining the information on defect
detection and defect formation mechanisms to further
accomplish the process optimization to achieve the
objective of defect suppression and control in an SLM process.
Defect formation is a critical problem in the SLM
processes. It has a significant influence on the real-world
application of the SLM fabricated parts. This paper reviews
defect formation mechanisms in SLM processes, discusses
the effect of process parameters on defect formation, and
proposes a strategy for defect suppression and control.
Based on the review, the paper summarizes conclusions:
The common defects are three types, namely
spherical porosities, irregularly incomplete fusion holes,
and cracks. Spherical porosities are randomly
distributed, while incomplete fusion holes are generally
distributed between the tracks and layers.
Many process parameters, such as laser power, scan
speed, hatch spacing, layer thickness, and scan
strategy, have significant influences on the
formation of defects. Energy density is an integrated
parameter for controlling defect formation; scan
strategy has a significant influence on the location
distribution of defects, most of the defects
distribute at both ends of scan tracks and in between
two adjacent tracks.
Defect formation has a significant influence on the
mechanical properties of the SLM fabricated parts,
especially fatigue strength. Defects play a prominent
role in fatigue crack initiation, directly reduce the
fatigue life of a part, which restricts the application
of the SLM technique.
The quality control in an SLM process relies on defect
detection and elimination. For high quality SLM
fabrications, defect monitoring, simulation and modeling, as well
as real-time defect elimination become necessary.
Defectfree SLM fabrications are anticipated in the near future.
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Bi Zhang is in the Chinese National ''Thousand-Talent Program'' with Dalian University of Technology, China, and a full professor of the University of Connecticut, USA. He is a fellow of both ASME and CIRP. E-mail: Yongtao Li is a graduate student at Dalian University of Technology, China. E-mail: liyongtao2017@ 163 . com Qian Bai is an associate professor at Dalian University of Technology, China. E-mail: