Forming sheet metal by laser-induced thermal stress (laser forming) is considered to have a great potential for rapid prototyping and other flexible manufacturing. However, the previous researches have mainly focused on analyzing the phenomena of the forming process. In 2D free curve laser forming, a feedback control scheme for each single bending angle was suggested in this study by incorporating a statistical method and the effect of the remaining errors was discussed. Methods of compensating for the remaining errors were proposed and analyzed by computer simulations. Experiments verified the applicability of the proposed methods. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.