Adaptive Laser Beam for Additive Manufacturing

ALABAMA project logo
© SINTEF Manufacturing AS
ALABAMA project logo
Principle sketch
© Aerobase Innovations AB
Principle sketch


Laser based metal additive manufacturing (AM) processes are a growing technology in the manufacturing sector. Parts quality assurance and geometrical accuracy of laser metal deposition (LMD) processes are, however, amongst the main factors that hinder a wider industrial application. A better understanding of the influence of the energy input and the capability to simulate and control it during the process would allow AM processes to become state of the art in industrial applications.

Objectives and Approaches

The ALABAMA project aims to develop and mature adaptive laser technologies for LMD processes with either powder or wire as feedstock material. Shaping of the laser beam allows an improved control of the energy input, therefore controlling melt pool geometry as well as cooling rates and temperature profiles of the deposited material. The objective is to minimize material defects, such as pores and micro cracks, as well as to tailor the microstructure of the deposited material shaping the laser beam, both temporally and spatially.

Innovations and Prospects

The key innovations in the project are to develop multiscale physics-based models to enable predictive optimization of the LMD process to avoid costly and extensive iteration trials. Moreover, the integration of different laser shaping devices in LMD systems will allow the control of the optimal laser energy input predicted by the simulations. 

Video: High Speed Video of the LMD Process of a Single Track

© Fraunhofer IWS