Additive manufacturing (AM) is a new paradigm for the design and production of high-performance components for aerospace, medical, energy, and automotive applications. This review will exclusively cover directed energy deposition (DED)-AM, with a focus on the deposition of powder-feed based metal and alloy systems. This paper provides a comprehensive review on the classification of DED systems, process variables, process physics, modelling efforts, common defects, mechanical properties of DED parts, and quality control methods. To provide a practical framework to print different materials using DED, a process map using the linear heat input and powder feed rate as variables is constructed. Based on the process map, three different areas that are not optimized for DED are identified. These areas correspond to the formation of a lack of fusion, keyholing, and mixed mode porosity in the printed parts. In the final part of the paper, emerging applications of DED from repairing damaged parts to bulk combinatorial alloys design are discussed. This paper concludes with recommendations for future research in order to transform the technology from “form” to “function,” which can provide significant potential benefits to different industries.
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