620 Advances In Rapid Prototyping And Manufacturing 1 A

FIGURE 14.7 Normalized frame of reference for mechanical test data.

Anisotropic material properties are a real concern for those considering using laser-deposited material and is an area that requires additional investigation. Epitaxial growth between layers and a near unidirectional heat extraction result in a highly oriented microstructure. A possible exception to this observation would be the SLS/HIP process. SLS/HIP does not rely on the laser beam to completely melt powder and as a result may exhibit more isotropic material properties than other rapid manufacturing processes. The Z direction is the build direction. The laser beam axis is along a Z direction. The Y direction is the laser beam travel direction. Mechanical testing occurs in the Z or the Y direction since the samples are usually too thin to test in the X direction, as shown in Fig. 14.7

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