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Design for Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing has become a buzz word in today’s manufacturing world. It has gone through tremendous improvements over the past few decades and has matured from simple prototyping to actual manufacturing and tooling. Various methods have emerged like Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), PolyJet (3DP), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), etc. All these methods manufacture the part through addition of materials layer by layer and hence this technology is referred as additive manufacturing. There are many other synonymous terms used like rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, 3D printing, etc.

Applications of additive manufacturing cover a vast variety of industries like automotive, consumer goods, medical devices, aerospace, defense, etc. Though in principle, any component can be manufactured by either subtractive manufacturing or additive manufacturing techniques, various design features pose completely different challenges in both methods. With a growing number of parts manufactured directly by additive manufacturing techniques, it is important to lay down design principles suitable for such manufacturing processes and to ensure parts are designed for additive manufacturing. There are several factors that are to be considered at the design stage for effective manufacturing of parts using additive manufacturing. Few such design issues in additive manufacturing are discussed in this paper.

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