Selective laser melting (SLM) is a Rapid Manufacturing technique in which parts of complex shape are produced by selectively melting layers of powder. A thorough understanding of the process is crucial for a good control of the properties of the produced parts. In this paper we present a pragmatic engineering model to study aspects of the SLM process using an enthalpy formulation and accounting for shrinkage and laser light penetration. We investigate the importance of evaporation for a set of process parameters relevant to production and find that evaporation is a phenomenon that cannot be neglected at realistic power inputs. However, phenomena such as Marangoni convection and wetting due to surface tension effects need to be considered in the future.