Additive Manufacturing (AM) enables free form fabrication of 3D structures directly from digital data. This results in fabrication of parts and devices that are geometrically complex and can be customized without an additional cost implication.
Design for manufacturing has typically meant that designers should tailor their designs to accommodate limitations associated with the conventional manufacturing process in order to make the fabrication process feasible. This however, leads to limitations in the freedom that designers have for creating new products.
With capabilities of 3D printing / Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies these limitations can be eliminated. In order to take advantage of these unique capabilities, it is important to assist designers in exploring the unexplored regions of design spaces. We present a Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) method that focuses on providing limitless design freedom to designers by eliminating the constraints of conventional manufacturing processes.
Some applications for DfAM include:
- Fabrication of designs with high geometrical complexity
- Creation of integrated models for elimination of assembly steps
- Fabrication of customized jigs and fixtures
- Enhanced functionality using complex integrated designs