In Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), a blown powder metal additive manufacturing process, functional metal parts are fabricated in a layer-by-layer fashion. In addition to the in-layer dynamics, which describe how the process evolves within a given layer, the additive-fabrication property of LMD creates a second set of dynamics which describe how the process evolves from layer-to-layer. While these dynamics, termed layer-to-layer dynamics, are coupled with both the in-layer dynamics and the process operating conditions, they are not widely considered in the modeling, process planning, or process control of LMD operations. Because of this, seemingly valid choices for process parameters can lead to part failure - a phenomenon commonly encountered when undergoing the laborious procedure of tuning a new LMD process. Here, a layer-to-layer stability condition for LMD fabrications is given, based on the shape of the powder catchment efficiency function, which provides insight into the layer-to-layer evolution of LMD processes and can be useful in process planning and control. The stability criterion is evaluated for various operating points, allowing stable and unstable operating regions to be identified. Simulation results are presented showing both stable and unstable layer-to-layer LMD fabrications. The simulated behavior successfully predicts the results seen in both stable and unstable experimental depositions.

Meeting Name

26th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium -- An Additive Manufacturing Conference, SFF 2015 (2015: Aug. 10-12, Austin, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (CMMI1301414) and through a US Department of Education GAANN Fellowship (P200A120062), with technical and experimental support from Optomec and MachMotion.

Keywords and Phrases

Additives; Catchments; Deposition; Dynamics; Fabrication; Metals; Powder metals; Stability criteria, Additive fabrication; Efficiency functions; Experimental deposition; Laser metal deposition; Operating condition; Planning and control; Process parameters; Simulated behaviors, Process control

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

12 Aug 2015

Included in

Manufacturing Commons