Comparison between experiment (a–c) and simulation (d–g) of the laser-driven spatter process for a bare SS316L plate, showing good qualitative agreement. The experiment consists of three experimental snapshots recorded at 1 Mfps in the top region which shows droplet formation and ejection. In (a–c), the illumination laser is off resulting in self-illumination of the melt pool and surrounding region through incandescence. The spatter forms as a protuberance in (a), elongated neck in (b) and escapes as a spherical droplet in (c). Experimental parameters: P = 600 W, u = 3.0 m/s. (d–f) Simulation of three snapshots that represent the experimental data. (g) Semi-transparent side view of the simulation in (f) showing the depression at the front of the melt pool with complex liquid flow and droplet ejection angle relative to the surface of the plate. Simulation parameters: P = 200 W, u = 1.5 m/s.