To increase the integration of laser based additive manufacturing in the series production major challenges related to the production costs and deposition rates still need to be overcome. Laser Metal Deposition (abbr. LMD), also known as Laser Cladding or Direct Metal Deposition, is regarded as an established technology for repairing components and producing coating systems with defined properties in the petrochemical and heavy duty industry, as well as in medical engineering and aerospace. A novel promising application field for LMD is the use of the process as additive manufacturing technique. By contrast with the powder bed technology, by means of LMD it is possible not only to generate complete parts but also to deposit defined 3D structures on existing components. In this way, an alternative to additive manufacturing from scratch is given: a combination between conventional processing and advanced laser additive manufacturing can be applied to reduce the production costs. Also geometrical modifications as well as the production of local reinforcements to adapt a basis design to different requirements can be achieved. Nevertheless, with a view to the utilization of the process in the series production, efforts have to be made to increase the cost effectiveness of the process. The present work focuses on the possibilities of LMD as additive manufacturing technology, novel strategies for the improvement of deposition rates and process efficiency being presented.

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