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Design for Additive Manufacturing

Cambridge and Loughborough University

3D Printing is about to revolutionise the way we design and make products. Therefore it is essential for those interested in this field to learn how to design for AM. While AM is receiving a lot of hype in the media it is rarely taught in engineering education.

The FH Aachen 3D Printing Summer School was a short training course organised by the GoetheLab in Aachen, Germany and in South Africa. The aim of the course was to introduce engineers to the capabilities, the challenges and the drawbacks of AM by providing a comprehensive, theoretical approach to 3D printing technology combined with hands-on experience. The GoetheLab, led by Prof. Andreas Gebhardt, is a prominent German research centre in Additive Manufacturing.

In August 2016, we were invited to present our preliminary perspective on Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) to the participants of the Summer School and discuss it with some of the experts participating at the event. This gave us the opportunity to share some of our initial thoughts and ideas on DfAM with other academics of the field and with potential users. The discussion was very constructive and encouraged us to reflect in more depth on some of the neglected aspects of DfAM.