Lasers in additive manufacturing: A review

  • Hyub Lee
  • Chin Huat Joel Lim
  • Mun Ji Low
  • Nicholas Tham
  • Vadakke Matham Murukeshan
  • Young-Jin KimEmail author
Review Paper


In recent years, additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, has emerged as an environmentally friendly green manufacturing technology which brings great benefits, such as energy saving, less material consumption, and efficient production. These advantages are attributed to the successive material deposition at designated target areas by delivering the energy on it. In this regard, lasers are the most effective energy source in additive manufacturing since the laser beam can transfer a large amount of energy into micro-scale focal region instantaneously to solidify or cure materials in air, therefore enabling high-precision and high-throughput manufacturing for a wide range of materials. In this paper, we introduce laser-based additive manufacturing methods and review the types of lasers widely used in 3D printing machines. Important laser parameters relevant to additive manufacturing will be analyzed and general guidelines for selecting suitable lasers for additive manufacturing will be provided. Discussion on future prospects of laser technologies for additive manufacturing will be finally covered.


Laser manufacturing Additive manufacturing Selective laser sintering Selective laser melting Direct metal laser sintering 


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Precision Engineering 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyub Lee
    • 1
  • Chin Huat Joel Lim
    • 1
  • Mun Ji Low
    • 1
  • Nicholas Tham
    • 1
  • Vadakke Matham Murukeshan
    • 1
  • Young-Jin Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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