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[en] Highlight• The functionally graded Inconel 718 was produced with different regions of fine and coarse grained microstructure. • Areas processed with high power energy showed a strongly textured microstructure and grains elongated in (001) direction. • There is a sharp transition in mechanical properties and microstructure for processed Inconel gradients. • The developed processing strategy shows the feasibility of creating materials with user-defined functional performance. Additive manufacturing offers a unique way of anisotropic microstructure control with a high degree of design freedom. This study demonstrates that application of suitable process parameters and laser sources in selective laser melting may favour either one sharp single component texture, more uniformly distributed crystal orientation, or a combination of the above in a preferred gradient, which influence the mechanical properties. It is shown that transitions in microstructure, texture, and properties in fabricated Inconel 718 functionally graded components can be obtained at relatively small or large length scales, depending upon the functional gradient desired in a particular application. Results obtained by electron backscatter diffraction showed distinct regions of coarse elongated grains with a strong (001) orientation uniformly embedded in randomly distributed fine grained matrix. Mechanical tests in the form of hardness, tensile and in-situ digital image correlation tests showed steep transitions in the developed Inconel gradients. The observed mechanical properties were found to be primarily dependent on the grain size and texture and are superior to the cast samples for both laser sources. The developed process strategy can be further applied to design functional gradients with selected tailored properties and to account for directional anisotropy of solidified components.