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Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Additive Manufacturing Technologies
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Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) allows to manufacture components with lightweight and near net shape suited to aerospace and aviation applications employing Al-alloys. The process is highly suited to one-of-a-kind or small batch production of small to medium sized parts. As the maturity of the process and its end-users increase, the demand for larger components becomes more relevant. The increase of part size by increasing the size of the LPBF machine inevitably increases the cost and the complexity of the employed system. Moreover, using multiple lasers in a large powder bed to produce larger parts may bring residual stresses, part deformation and a higher chance of process failure. In the light of these, the use of joining operations, in particular welding, appears as a suitable option for the production of large components via LPBF. Indeed, the process lends itself well to also producing dedicated joint edge preparations, thickness and section variation within the location of the welded joint. Amongst different processes, laser welding stands out as a viable option as it can provide narrower weld seam and heat affected zone, produce less deformation on the parts and be automated with cartesian or robotic manipulators. This work discusses the influence of different laser welding strategies on the LPBF produced AlSi7Mg0.6.