Scanpath Centric Design for miniaturizing PBF-LB/M Prints


  • Rein van der Mast Fontys University of Applied Sciences
  • Bert Hoekzema Innovation Manager
  • Brecht Van Hooreweder Director LEUVEN.AM



Powder bed fusion, Scanpath, Single track, Miniaturization, Thin wall


Powder bed fusion with laser beam of metals (PBF-LB/M) allows for solid models ('solids') and non-solid models ('surfaces') to be transferred into the physical domain, e.g. to be materialized. Typically, solids are used to represent parts, and both solids and non-solids are used to act as support structures. The widely implemented concept, supplemented with conversions known as 'slicing' and 'hatching', is sufficient in most cases. However, it leaves only little room for the engineer to control the exact location of the scanpath in each of the layers. Furthermore, it does not provide full feedback about the scanpath to the engineer in the product design process proceeding the materialization. The study attempts to find a way to overcome such lack of control, particularly in case of the tiniest spatial elements, and aims to increase the deployability of powder bed fusion with laser beam of metals in its most popular form, including improved detailing. A new methodology was developed to generate curves to act as scanpath, fully accessible to the engineer. Examples of relevant applications for this new strategy include (small, monolithic integrated) leaf springs and tubes which by applying this approach may become denser, less rough and more accurate, and consequently less porous and more durable.


Rein van der Mast, Fontys University of Applied Sciences

Ir Rein van der Mast is the Research Lead 3D Printing in Metals of Fontys University of Applied Sciences – Engineering (Eindhoven, Netherlands) as well as a Ph.D. candidate at the Catholic University of Leuven – Additive Manufacturing Research Group, led by Prof Dr Ir Brecht van Hooreweder (Belgium). Since 1996 he has been applying various concepts of 3D printing and he invented the 3D printed fountain pen nib in 2016 (EU Patent No. EP3323627A1, 2016). He operated many LPBF printers, such as when he was manager Design & Engineering of Additive Industries.

Bert Hoekzema, Innovation Manager

Bert Hoekzema is the AM expert of FMI Instrumed (Schiedam, Netherlands), a supplier of orthopedic implants and instruments, as well as components for high-tech OEMs. The company owns two Concept Laser M2 Dual Laser Series 3 (50 µm spot size) and runs three Arcam Q10-Plus. He has a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering (‘Ing’) granted by the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and is highly experienced in both conventional machining and additive manufacturing.

Brecht Van Hooreweder, Director LEUVEN.AM

Prof Brecht Van Hooreweder received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven in 2013 and as successor to Em Prof Jean-Pierre Kruth leads the KU Leuven Additive Manufacturing group since 2016. The team of about twenty researchers works mainly on laser and powder bed based Additive Manufacturing of polymers, metals and technical ceramics, with a focus on innovations in LPBF machine design, process understanding, new material development and analysis of functional AM part properties. Prof Hooreweder coordinates a unique AM lab (>350m²) with in-house developed and state-of-the-art commercial AM equipment that forms the heart of the AM activities in Leuven.





van der Mast, R., Hoekzema, B., & Van Hooreweder, B. (2024). Scanpath Centric Design for miniaturizing PBF-LB/M Prints. RTe Journal.