Design for additive manufacturing: how to increase the value of the part through intelligent optimisation
It is hard to recall that there was a time when we only talked about “Design for Manufacturing” (DfM). The concept of “Design for Additive Manufacturing” (DfAM) has emerged so fast that it seems to be on everybody’s lip. Prominent AM companies do not only talk about it. Just like universities, they also launch courses dedicated to DfAM. Indeed, design is the primary step required to take a product idea and translate it into something that can be brought to life.
It is, therefore, crucial for companies to master this stage of product development.
Given the increasing demand for such expertise, and the lack of reliable resources, we have decided to address this topic in this Software Segment.
With the development of new materials and the rise of manufacturing requirements, the concept of “Design for Manufacturing” has led to the development of new concepts and techniques to achieve more sustainable products. However, the emergence of AM technologies has also brought its array of challenges, that are beyond the well-known conventional concept. Therefore, to understand how to “rethink design” while taking into account AM technologies capabilities, there is a need to understand this transition from DfM to DfAM. A transition that inevitably raises the question of the real definition of DfAM: how should designers understand it? Are there specific principles they should follow when designing for AM? Moreover, in this quest for continuous improvement, how do we increase part value through the DfAM concept?
We believe answering these questions will be helpful to beginners and experienced engineers alike. This article also aims to be an introductory guide for companies that are interested in starting or improving their experience in AM.
Il would have been hard to discuss this topic alone or just with researches’ results as examples. To combine theory with practice, three companies joined us in this initiative: Materialise, nTopology and Blueprint. A detailed presentation of their core business will be given at the end of this dossier….Read the rest of the dossier