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Fusion-based additive manufacturing (AM) processes rely on the formation of a metallurgical bond between a substrate and a feedstock material. Energy sources employed in the fusion AM process include conventional arcs, lasers, and electron beams. Each of these sources is discussed, with an emphasis on their principles of operation, key processing variables, and the influence of each source on the transfer of heat and material. Common energy sources used for metals AM processes, particularly powder-bed fusion and directed-energy deposition, are also discussed. Brief sections at the end of the article discuss the factors dictating the choice of each of these energy sources and provide information on alternative sources of AM.

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