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Prediction and control of the thermal distortion is particularly important for the design and manufacture of welded thin plate panel. In this study, experiments and computations are performed to analyze effect of a hole configuration and a specimen size on distortion. In addition, this study aims to develop a thermal elasto-plastic simulation using finite element method to predict distortion, with particular emphasis on buckling deformation generated in plates welded around hole. From the experiments, the severe distortion appeared in the weldments by the laser welding process, in which the specimen size plays an important role on the distortion but the hole configuration showed little effect. And the results of numerical analysis were corresponded well with the experiment ones. Thus, a thermal elasto-plastic analysis model for predicting the weld distortion of thin plate panel was successfully developed through this study.