Overhang structures are commonly found in Powder-bed metal additive manufacturing (AM) such as electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) process. The EBAM is assumed to build overhang structure without support features since powder bed could provide support. However, heat dissipation difference by sintered powder and solid substrate for overhang feature actually causes severe part distortion and requires support structure. Current support generation methods usually used certain types of structure to cover the overhang space. They may overestimate the support volume or put a large amount of supports, which could not be necessary and increase the post process time. Thus, the object of this task is to enhance the performance and efficient usage of the EBAM technology through effective support structure designs. In this study, a combined heat support and support anchor design method has been proposed. Numerical model has been used to evaluate stress and deformation during the design process. The detailed design process has been presented for a typical overhang and the simulation results have indicated that overhang deformation can be greatly reduced using this new method.

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