Automatic determination of part build orientation for laser powder bed fusion

Yuchu Qin, Qunfen Qi*, Peizhi Shi, Paul J. Scott, Xiangqian Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, an automatic determination method of part build orientation for laser powder bed fusion is presented. This method includes two steps. First, an existing facet clustering-based approach is applied to automatically generate the alternative orientations of a laser powder bed fusion part. Second, support volume, volumetric error, surface roughness, build time and build cost are considered. Their values in each alternative orientation are estimated by certain estimation models. The weights of these factors are determined via pairwise comparison. The weighted sum model is used to calculate a summary value of the factors in each alternative orientation. According to the calculated summary values, an optimal orientation to build the part is generated. To demonstrate the method, a set of part orientation cases are tested, and effectiveness analysis and efficiency and characteristic comparisons are reported. The demonstration results suggest that the proposed method can work for both regular and freeform surface models, produce stable and reasonable results and provide desired efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-49
Number of pages21
JournalVirtual and Physical Prototyping
Issue number1
Early online date15 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the EPSRC UKRI Innovation Fellowship [grant number EP/S001328/1], the EPSRC Fellowship in Manufacturing [grant number EP/R024162/1], and the EPSRC Future Advanced Metrology Hub [grant number EP/P006930/1]. The authors are very grateful to the five anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments for the improvement of the paper. The authors are also very grateful to Dr Yicha Zhang at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Design, University of Technology of Belfort-Montbéliard, France for providing the STL file of Part 4.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • alternative orientation
  • computer-aided part orientation
  • Laser powder bed fusion
  • optimal orientation
  • process planning


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