Metal additive manufacturing techniques offer exciting functionality for engineering components. For instance, topological optimization, novel design strategies, and functional grading are just a few examples that can be demonstrated. However, despite the overwhelming potential, the qualification of parts produced via metal additive manufacturing remains to be the key barrier for wide-spread utilization of the available technologies. Depending upon the final intent of the component, the performance will be dictated by the properties, and the properties can be tailored through the microstructural control during processing. More specifically, control of the solidification behavior can permit optimization of the material. Qualification for the performance requires new methodologies, models, and diagnostics. The use of in situ imaging can permit the validation of models for microstructural control as well as define the cause of defects emanating from the process methodology. Examples of the opportunities and challenges will be presented.