An innovative method to build support structures with a pulsed laser in the selective laser melting process
In selective laser melting machines, continuous laser are usually used to melt the powder. The support structures, which are inevitable when dealing with elaborated pieces, necessitate a complex design by CAD in order to be easily removed. This paper propose an innovative laser manufacturing method by combining pulsed and continuous modes of radiation. Continuous radiations are used for the object-to-build itself, in order to guarantee the requested mechanical properties. Pulsed radiations are used to build the support structures. The resulting support structures have sufficient mechanical properties to withstand the deposition system and to evacuate heat, and are easy to remove from the denser parts. This building method reduces drastically time to market since the same laser can be used in two modes and because pulsed radiation allows very high scanning speed with high power during the building of support structures.