Scanning strategies and spacing effect on laser fusion of H13 tool steel powder using high power Nd : YAG pulsed laser

Layered manufacturing technologies have been used to produce complex parts of diversified materials through different physical/chemical manufacturing principles. Nevertheless only a few materials are commercially available to build parts suitable for engineering applications. In this paper, the powder fusion of H13 tool steel is investigated. A high power Nd:YAG pulsed laser source on a CNC machine was used to fuse the powder, layer by layer, building solid cubes for further analysis. Four different laser vector scanning strategies were evaluated by comparing the results of porosity and layer distortion. The complexity of the laser/powder interaction shows that a complex strategy must be used to avoid porosity and distortion.