The freedom to create innovative products and parts is realized with additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing. Design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) provides the ability to create complex parts with intricate geometries that were typically impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing methods.
A core element of DfAM is the correlation between a part or product’s geometry and its application and function. Planning for it is key to the design process. With generative design tools (e.g., topology optimization, finite element analysis), engineers can run a series of simulations to determine optimal geometry based on function, application, and other key considerations including constraints, loads, and stress points.
In addition to geometric freedom and optimization, DfAM also offers production efficiencies. From design to rapid prototyping to production, digital design files can be easily shared, modified, and personalized to the end user. Another significant advantage of DfAM is part consolidation. Additive manufacturing enables the production of geometric shapes that otherwise require assembly of multiple components. Part consolidation can significantly decrease assembly costs, increase production speed, and improve performance.
Better performing products, however, are the results of both optimal designs and optimal materials. For example, DfAM unlocks the full potential of topology optimized lattice structures to enhance product performance. Choosing an elastomeric 3D printing material, like Lubrizol ESTANE® 3D M95A TPU, to manufacture parts with lattice structures can reduce the weight of the part without compromising structural integrity and allows for precise control of stiffness within specific regions. Producing lattice structures from ESTANE® M95A TPU is ideal for a variety of applications requiring lightweight parts that are both flexible and strong, such as footwear and prosthetics.
Contact us to learn more about how Lubrizol 3D Printing Solutions can support your application development needs. To learn how design for additive manufacturing can benefit your business and products, get in contact with one of Avid’s 3D printing design experts.