Computational Mechanics

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 273–284 | Cite as

Heat transfer model and finite element formulation for simulation of selective laser melting

  • Souvik Roy
  • Mario Juha
  • Mark S. Shephard
  • Antoinette M. ManiattyEmail author
Original Paper


A novel approach and finite element formulation for modeling the melting, consolidation, and re-solidification process that occurs in selective laser melting additive manufacturing is presented. Two state variables are introduced to track the phase (melt/solid) and the degree of consolidation (powder/fully dense). The effect of the consolidation on the absorption of the laser energy into the material as it transforms from a porous powder to a dense melt is considered. A Lagrangian finite element formulation, which solves the governing equations on the unconsolidated reference configuration is derived, which naturally considers the effect of the changing geometry as the powder melts without needing to update the simulation domain. The finite element model is implemented into a general-purpose parallel finite element solver. Results are presented comparing to experimental results in the literature for a single laser track with good agreement. Predictions for a spiral laser pattern are also shown.


Selective laser melting Finite element simulation Consolidation Melt pool size Additive manufacturing 



This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, under Award Number DE-SC-0011327. The authors acknowledge Dr. O. Klaas and Dr. M. Beall of Simmetrix, Inc. and Dr. M. Bloomfield, Mr. B. Granzow, and Mr. D. Ibanez of the Scientific Computation Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who provided valuable contributions to the software development used in this work and feedback on the model development. The authors also thank Dr. G. Hansen from Sandia National Laboratories for providing the Albany finite element simulation tools and providing guidance for implementing new physical models. The simulations presented were carried out using facilities at the Center for Computational Innovations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Souvik Roy
    • 1
  • Mario Juha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark S. Shephard
    • 1
  • Antoinette M. Maniatty
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.Programa de Ingeniería MecánicaUniversidad de La SabanaChíaColombia

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