Functionally graded materials (FGM) are designed materials tailored to exhibit as-built inhomogeneous compositions and microstructures. Since Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) uses various hoppers to supply powder feedstock at the laser focus, it has the ability to produce FGMs by selectively depositing different elemental powders into the molten pool at specific locations in the structure during part buildup [1,2].
When components are not specifically designed for SLM (like 90% of current products), supports are critical to ensure fabrication success as well as high and efficient production yield. Optimising build orientation is the 1st step to minimise the amount of supports by finding. Choosing the most appropriate type of support is the 2nd step. These supports need to be strong yet easy to remove while using minimal material.
Fully dense components built using selective laser melting exhibit mechanical properties equivalent or even better than those of parts produced by conventional manufacturing  . But building components using SLM sometimes requires external support structures. These support structures are necessary for a few reasons: they strengthen and fix the part to the building platform, they conduct excess heat away and they prevent warping or complete build failure.
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