Differences in microstructure and properties between selective laser melting and traditional manufacturing for fabrication of metal parts: A review
State Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die & Mould Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
Selective laser melting (SLM), as one of the additive manufacturing technologies, is widely investigated to fabricate metal parts. In SLM, parts are manufactured directly from powders in a layer-by-layer fashion; SLM also provides several advantages, such as production of complex parts with high three-dimensional accuracy, compared with other additive manufacturing technologies. Therefore, SLM can be applied in aeronautics, astronautics, medicine, and die and mould industry. However, this technique differs from traditional methods, such as casting and forging; for instance, the former greatly differs in terms of microstructure and properties of products. This paper summarizes relevant studies on metal material fabrication through SLM. Based on a work completed in Huazhong Univ. Sci Tech., Rapid Manuf. Center (HUST-RMC) and compared with characteristics described in other reported studies, microstructure, properties, dimensional accuracy, and application of SLM are presented.