The resultant effect has been the growth of interest in the utilization of the technique to create end-use parts. the technique is referred to as Rapid Manufacturing (RM). RM is an emerging manufacturing technique and it has lead to a number of research areas in the engineering industry and academia. Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an additive manufacturing process that has been advanced from the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) into a process that has the capability of manufacturing low volume, high value, end-use sections from the ever-increasing inventory of alloys and metals (Daniel 2009).
AM is an overall term that is used to describe all the technologies that are used to manufacture parts by the addition of material in layers as opposed to the traditional subtractive methods or processes that involved the removal of material according to (Daniel 2009). In the past, AM technology was confined to the manufacturing of prototypes and models that led to the widely accepted term Rapid Manufacturing (RP) and it used to refer to the all layer additive manufacturing process. The advance of processes, machine hardware, and materials meant that the parts could be developed with enough mechanical properties that permit functional applications (Gibson, Rosen &. Stucker, 2009). This had led to the adoption of Rapid Manufacturing (RM), to show the differences between the fully functional characteristics of the sections being manufactured from the prototypes and RP models. Additive Manufacturing is the overall term that is used to describe Rapid Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping and its description in the application of the Additive Manufacturing technology (Daniel 2009).
Selective Laser Melting is a recently created technology. The technology is used to manufacture full density metal parts with properties that are comparable to or better than the wrought materials.