Where the coarse acidular silicon acts as crack initiation sites in conventional cast alloys, refined eutectic microstructure of Al–Si alloys machined by SLM tends to dramatically improve their mechanical properties - specifically strength and ductility . Here we report the latest findings on AlSi12 where SLM combined with solution heat treatment generates 25% tensile ductility. 
Aeromat 15, the conference dealing with materials and processing methods focused on aerospace applications, was held last week in Long Beach, California. As additive manufacturing technologies mature, numerous presenters discussed aspects such as materials properties of SLMed components, successful industrial applications by world-leading institutes such as TWI, MCAM or remaining challenges being addressed.
As with any craft, it is important to understand the advantages and limitations of tools. In the case of the EOS M280, which offers one of the most powerful and flexible control software among SLM machines, it is vital to pick out the most suitable parameters amongt the 84 parameters available (and combinations!) for dimension accuracy.
Process parameters development is a rigorous multi-step process paramount to manufacturing repeatability and reliability of production. Amongst ensuring high density, suitable surface roughness and reliable mechanical properties, dimension accuracy and precision must also be guaranteed as part of the ideal (ie no mechanical post processing involved) AM process. Here, we review the critical factors that can be used to ensure dimension accuracy.
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