Design for Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing (AM) gives us tremendous freedom to create components with free-form and intricate features, direct from CAD and without the need for expensive tooling. These complex designs would be impractical, if not impossible, to produce adapted to their application.
This flexibility does not, however, give us total freedom to design any shape that we can think of. At least, not if we want to manufacture it at a sensible cost.
Like any manufacturing process, AM technologies have their capabilities and their limitations. For instance, laser powder-bed fusion parts that are designed with overhanging features – i.e. where we are building on top of un-fused powder – may require sacrificial supports to enable them to build successfully. These supports increase build time, consume extra materials and require additional post-processing for their removal.
- Freedom to design and innovate without penalties.
- Increased supply chain proficiency with ‘3D faxing’
- Support of green manufacturing initiatives
- Bottom line improvements through factory physics
- Get parts – fast