Powder Bed Fusion (PBF)

Powder bed fusion (PBF) is a category of additive manufacturing (AM) processes that use thermal energy to selectively fuse granular materials into solid shapes. A granular printing medium such as metal, ceramic, glass, etc. is spread on the surface of a build platform to create a bed of powder. Using the information supplied by a CAD file, the PBF machine applies thermal energy to specific areas of the powder bed to bind granules into a solid layer. The build platform is then lowered, more powder is added, and the process is repeated for the next layers until the design has fully printed. 

Powder bed fusion encompasses a variety of AM production techniques, including: 

  • Powder bed and inkjet head 3D printing (3DP)
  • Electron beam melting (EBM)
  • Selective heat sintering (SHS)
  • Selective laser melting (SLM)
  • Selective laser sintering (SLS)
  • Direct metal laser melting (DMLM) 
  • Directed metal laser sintering (DMLS) 
PBF techniques are primarily differentiated by the source of thermal energy (e.g. laser pulse, electron beam, heated print head) and level of heat applied (i.e. whether the granules are sintered together or melted together).

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Additive Manufacturing Network

Additive Manufacturing Network

Siemens Additive Manufacturing (AM) Network is an online collaborative solution for on-demand product design and distributed AM production.