Laser metal deposition (LMD), also known as direct metal deposition (DMD) or laser engineered net shaping (LENS), which uses a laser beam to form a melt pool on a metallic substrate, into which powder or wire is fed. The conventional contour and zigzag toolpath pattern for LMD are discontinuous at turn points or corner points. The discontinuous toolpath causes uneven deposition, which brings height variation and porosity problems. This paper aims to develop a smooth toolpath generation method for LMD to improve the deposition quality. A parametric curve equation based on trigonometric functions is derived and built. It can be used for arbitrary smooth connections or transitions in toolpath planning and provide constant feedrate for deposition. The proposed method was applied to a patch deposition experiment and a component repair experiment with Ti-6Al-4V powder. The experimental results show that the smooth toolpath can noticeably improve the dimensional accuracy and surface roughness and reduce porosity.

Meeting Name

27th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium -- An Additive Manufacturing Conference (2016: Aug. 8-10, Austin, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grants IIP-1046492, CMMI- 1301414, CMMI-1547042, GNK Aerospace, and Intelligent Systems Center and Material Research Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Their support is greatly appreciated.

Keywords and Phrases

Laser metal deposition; Toolpath generation; Additive manufacturing

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

10 Aug 2016

Included in

Manufacturing Commons