John Doyle
Ansys Employee

Q1. Ansys DED does not apply heat load to each cluster.  As with L-PBF, the load is the process temperature (usually the powder melt temperature).  The key difference between L-PBF and DED is that L-PBF activates an entire element layer without regard to laser path. DED activates element groups(or clusters) in a stratigic pattern (consistent with the order in which material is actually laid down during the build.  Also DED allows for convection from the surface of activated element clusters to the enviroment.

Q2.  Smaller cluster size should improve accuracy at the expense of run time.

Q3. Not sure if this will give you what you are looking for, but could you use a path plot? You would have to create this after all the elements are activated at the end of the build.