Production of Ti-6Al-4V acetabular shell using selective laser melting: Possible limitations in fabrication

Amir Mahyar Khorasani*, Ian Gibson, Moshe Goldberg, Guy Littlefair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to improve the manufacturing of a prosthetic acetabular shell by analyzing the main factors leading to failure during the selective laser melting (SLM) additive manufacturing (AM) process. Design/methodology/approach - Different computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing processes have been applied to fabricate acetabular parts. Then, various investigations into surface quality, mechanical properties and microstructure have been carried out to scrutinize the possible limitations in fabrication. Findings - Geometrical measurements showed 1.59 and 0.27 per cent differences between the designed and manufactured prototypes for inside and outside diameter, respectively. However, resulting studies showed that unstable surfaces, cracks, an interruption in powder delivery and low surface quality were the main problems that occurred during this process. These results indicate that SLM is an accurate and promising method for production of intricate shapes, provided that the appropriate settings of production conditions are considered to minimize possible limitations. Originality/value - The contributions of this paper are discussions covering different issues in the AM fabrication of acetabular shells to improve the mechanical properties, quality and durability of the produced parts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalRapid prototyping journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetabular shell
  • Hip replacement prosthesis
  • Selective laser melting
  • Solidification
  • Surface crack
  • Surface roughness


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