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Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Additive Manufacturing Technologies
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Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process has gained great attention in recent years since it enables the production of very complex parts with acceptable dimensional accuracy, cost and mechanical properties. Since LPBF process is a thermal process and very high thermal stresses occur during production, dimensional deviations occur especially in very thin and overhang regions. The aim of this study is to show the feasibility of using contactless supports at thin and overhang regions for reducing dimensional deviation of the final part. For this purpose, 1.5 mm thick overhang parts with 300 inclination angles with respect to build plate were manufactured with LPBF process from In718 material. Contactless supports with different amount of gaps between the overhang surface and the support (0.23, 0.31 and 0.38 mm) were used during production. The produced parts were 3D scanned with a blue light device. Results show that contactless supports are good alternative to solid supports in the production of overhang parts with LPBF method and contactless support gaps directly affect the dimensional deviation of the final part.