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1. (WO2017207552) METHOD FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
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CLAIMS

1. A method for forming a three-dimensional article through successive fusion of parts of a metal powder bed, which parts corresponds to successive cross sections of the three-dimensional article, the method comprising the steps of:

distributing a powder layer on a work table inside a build chamber,

directing at least one beam from at least one high energy beam source over the work table causing the powder layer to fuse in selected locations to form a first cross section of the three-dimensional article,

lowering the work table a predetermined distance in Z-direction,

distributing a second powder layer on the work table inside the build chamber, directing the at least one beam over the work table causing the second powder layer to fuse in selected locations to form a second cross section of the three-dimensional article, wherein the second layer is bonded to the first layer, and

preheating, with the at least one beam, an area of non-fused powder to a temperature within a predetermined temperature range a predetermined distance in Z-direction before the area is to be fused,

wherein the area times the distance in z-direction is defining a preheating volume of non-fused powder when the three dimensional article is finished.

2. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the preheating of the area of non-fused powder is performed on at least five powder layers before the actual fusing of the area is taking place.

3. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the preheating of the area of non-fused powder is performed on at least ten powder layers before the actual fusing is taking place.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein a thickness of a powder layer is between 10-200μιη.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the temperature range is between 400-1300 °C.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the preheating is performed so that a mean temperature within the preheating volume is at least 300 °C above a mean temperature of the same volume without preheating.

7. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the preheating volume has a rectangular cross section.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the preheating volume has a trapezoid shaped cross section.

9. The method according to claim 1, wherein the area of the preheating volume, next to the area which is to be fused, is larger than the area which is to be fused.

10. The method according to claim 1, wherein the area of the preheating volume, next to the area which is to be fused, is fully overlapping with the area which is to be fused.

1 1. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the area of the preheating volume, next to the area which is to be fused, is identical to the area which is to be fused.

12. The method according to claim 1, wherein the area of the preheating volume, next to the area which is to be fused, is centered with the area which is to be fused.

13. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the high energy beam is either an electron beam or a laser beam.

14. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the high energy beam is an electron beam and the build chamber is a vacuum chamber.

15. An apparatus for forming a three-dimensional article through successive fusion of parts of a metal powder bed, which parts corresponds to successive cross sections of the three-dimensional article, the apparatus comprising:

a build chamber;

a working table onto which layers of powdery material are to be placed;

at least one high energy beam source; and

at least one control unit,

wherein the apparatus is configured, via the at least one control unit, for:

distributing a layer on the work table inside the vacuum chamber, directing the at least one e beam from the at least one high energy beam source over the work table causing the powder layer to fuse in selected locations to form a first cross section of the three-dimensional article,

distributing a second powder layer on the work table inside the build chamber, directing the at least one beam over the work table causing the second powder layer to fuse in selected locations to form a second cross section of the three-dimensional article, wherein the second layer is bonded to the first layer, and

preheating, with the at least one beam, an area of non-fused powder to a temperature within a predetermined temperature range a predetermined distance in Z- direction before the area is to be fused,

wherein the area times the distance in z-direction defines a preheating volume of non-fused powder when the three dimensional article is finished.

16. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the preheating is performed so that a mean temperature within the preheating volume is at least 300 °C above a mean temperature of the same volume without preheating.

17. The apparatus according to claim 15 , wherein the preheating volume has either a trapezoidal or a rectangular cross section.

18. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the area of the preheating volume, next to the area which is to be fused, is larger than and fully overlapping with the area which is to be fused.

19. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the area of the preheating volume, next to the area which is to be fused, is identical to and centered with the area which is to be fused.

20. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the high energy beam is either an electron beam or a laser beam.

21. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the high energy beam is an electron beam and the build chamber is a vacuum chamber.

22. A computer program product comprising at least one non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having computer-readable program code portions embodied therein, the computer-readable program code portions comprising at least one executable portion configured for:

directing at least one beam from at least one high energy beam source over a work table causing a powder layer thereon to fuse in selected locations to form a first cross section of the three-dimensional article,

lowering the work table a predetermined distance in Z-direction,

distributing a second powder layer on the work table inside the build chamber, directing the at least one beam over the work table causing the second powder layer to fuse in selected locations to form a second cross section of the three-dimensional article, wherein the second layer is bonded to the first layer, and

preheating, with the at least one beam, an area of non-fused powder to a temperature within a predetermined temperature range a predetermined distance in Z-direction before the area is to be fused,

wherein the area times the distance in z-direction is defining a preheating volume of non-fused powder when the three dimensional article is finished.