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Powder Spreading Testbed for Studying the Powder Spreading Process in Powder Bed Fusion Machines



Justin Whiting, Eric Whitenton, Aniruddha Das, Vipin Tondare, Jason Fox, Michael McGlauflin, Alkan Donmez, Shawn P. Moylan


The spreading of powder is an integral part of powder bed fusion-based additive manufacturing technologies; however, due to the complex nature and the number of interactions between particles, studying the powder spreading process is difficult. In order to gain insight into how the metal powder is spread in the powder bed fusion machines using a recoater, a spreading testbed is needed, which provides a method for recording the powder spreading process and characterizing the powder spread layer. The objective of this testbed is to study and try to establish fundamental relationships between bulk metal powder characteristics and powder spreading performance. Here, a fabrication of a powder spreading testbed (PST) is described. The minimum but necessary functionality of the PST has been discussed. The potential characterization methods for the powder spread layer have been proposed. This document serves as a guideline for the future development of the present testbed.
Advanced Manufacturing Series (NIST AMS) - 100-56
Report Number


laser powder bed fusion, powder spreading, powder spreadability, testbed, particle tracking, additive manufacturing


Whiting, J. , Whitenton, E. , Das, A. , Tondare, V. , Fox, J. , McGlauflin, M. , Donmez, A. and Moylan, S. (2023), Powder Spreading Testbed for Studying the Powder Spreading Process in Powder Bed Fusion Machines, Advanced Manufacturing Series (NIST AMS), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created November 29, 2023