This paper describes the equipment and procedures used to investigate the effects of the heat load on SOFC surfaces during vacuum plasma spraying. It explains how the authors used a vacuum-sealed IR camera to record thermographic images of the substrate surface as they sprayed different powders and as they varied the dc power, scanning speed, and stand-off distance of the plasma torch. The authors also studied the effect of different cooling methods, including conductive cooling from the backside via a water-cooled aluminum backplate and convective cooling from the front side with a nitrogen gas jet. Using the experimentally obtained data, the authors developed a thermal 3D model of the SOFC plasma spraying process that accounts for torch movements, substrate cooling, and layer growth. An outlook for future work is given expressing an intent to model stress fields within fuel cells during plasma spraying in order to simulate the development of residual stresses. Paper includes a German-language abstract.