In this paper, a systematic approach towards establishing reliability of overhanging structure production by selective laser melting has been adopted. A calibrated, fast, multiscale thermal model is used to simulate the single track formation on a thick powder bed. Single tracks are manufactured on a thick powder bed using same processing parameters, but at different locations in a powder bed and in different laser scanning directions. The difference in melt track widths and depths captures the effect of changes in incident beam power distribution due to location and processing direction. The experimental results are used in combination with numerical model, and subjected to uncertainty and reliability analysis. Cumulative probability distribution functions obtained for melt track widths and depths are found to be coherent with observed experimental values. The technique is subsequently extended for reliability characterization of single layers produced on a thick powder bed without support structures, by determining cumulative probability distribution functions for average layer thickness, sample density and thermal homogeneity.
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