This paper provides a brief review of relatively new additive manufacturing technologies for the fabrication of unusual and complex metal and alloy products by laser and electron beam melting. A number of process features and product microstructures are illustrated utilizing 3D optical and transmission electron microscope image compositions representing examples of 3D materials science.Methods
Processing methods involving electron beam melting (EBM) and a process referred to as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), often called selective laser melting (SLM) are described along with the use of light (optical) microscopy (OM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to elucidate microstructural phenomena.Results
Examples of EBM and SLM studies are presented in 3D image compositions. These include EBM of Ti-6Al-4V, Cu, Co-base superalloy and Inconel 625; and SLM of 17-4 PH stainless steel, Inconel 718 and Inconel 625.Conclusions
3D image compositions constituting 3D materials science provide effective visualization for directional solidification-related phenomena associated with the EBM and SLM fabrication of a range of metals and alloys, especially microstructures and microstructural architectures.