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Design for Additive Manufacturing

Cambridge and Loughborough University

Additive Manufacturing and Design for Additive Manufacturing

What is additive manufacturing (AM)?

According to the latest ISO/ASTM Standard [52900:2015(E)], additive manufacturing refers to a process of joining materials to make parts from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing and formative manufacturing methodologies. Instead of machining a workpiece from solid block, for example, AM builds up components layer by layer using materials in the form of filament, powder or liquid. A range of different metals, plastics and composite materials may be used. In addition, the term "3D printing" is increasingly used in a non-technical context synonymously with AM. Recently, the term has in particular been associated with machines that are low end in price and/or overall capability.

Part in print 



What is design for additive manufacturing?

Different from traditional design for manufacturing and assembly – which is the practice of designing products to reduce or minimise manufacturing and assembly difficulties and costs, design for additive manufacturing aims to take advantages of the unique AM capabilities to design and optimise a product/component, utilising the characteristics of AM to improve the product/component functions according to the capability of the selected AM process. This typically indicates that designers should tailor their designs to utilise the advantages of AM such as complex geometries and lightweight whilst taking the AM process limitations into consideration, to ensure the manufacturability of the product.

 IfM design