A review of laser fabrication of metallic engineering components and of materials

Xinhua Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

64 Citations (Scopus)


The state of the art and directions for the future development of two laser based technologies, direct laser fabrication in which powder is fed into the focal point of a laser, and a laser powder bed technology are outlined in this review. The areas in which these technologies have made significant contributions are: the manufacture, directly from powder, of alloys and of functionally graded materials which enables a range of compositions to be assessed rapidly and the manufacture of net shape and the repair of engineering components. It is suggested that rapid assessment of structure/property relationships in a range of compositions will continue to be a useful application of laser fabrication. It is further concluded that the two approaches, direct laser fabrication and laser powder bed will continue to be developed since each has its own advantages and disadvantages; direct laser fabrication is the preferred technique for alloy development work and for component repair but laser bed technology is currently the preferred technology for the manufacture of small components which require a good surface finish. Improvements in surface finish, in dimensional accuracy, in microstructural control and in process control with real time feedback to control properties are nevertheless required if these technologies are to increase their impact in the area of the manufacture of net shape components.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-640
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • net shape
  • powder processing
  • thermal profiles
  • microstructures
  • laser fabrication


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