Laser material processing has shown diversified potential in a wide range of industry such as automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics. Many laser material processing applications are developed so far, just to name a few, laser bending, welding, hardening, marking, brazing, drilling, cutting and cleaning. Among different applications of laser material processing, automated laser fabrication (ALFa) as a one-step solid freeform fabrication technique has shown a wide range of versatility owing mainly to the additive nature of the process as well as unique laser beam characteristics. The main applications of Alfa can be grouped as follows:
- Rapid manufacturing and tooling
- High-value components repair
To cover a surface or create a 3D component using laser direct material deposition, successive clad beads can be deposited side by side or on top of one another based on a predefined trajectory generated directly from a computer-aided design (CAD) model. Since additive material is dynamically injected into the process domain, the geometrical complexity of a component does not have a significant effect on the process,and also it is possible to deposit different materials during one deposition process. Moreover, The advantage of locally as well as selectively deposition of additive material make this technique an excellent candidate for repair and rebuild of worn out or broken high-value tools and components.