Design for AM
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) is a commonly used term, which describes that a part is designed in such a way, that the restrictions of the selected printing production technology are foreseen. Either you start with an existing design, which shall be redesigned to archieve various possible improvements, or you start entirely new in which case you need to know applicable boundary conditions.
Either way, the limitations need to be known. For example in metal 3D printing by SLM (Selective Laser Melting) the required support structures have to be accessible or eliminated by a proper design. Usually support structures are needed at surfaces with 45° overhang towards the base. This is not generally valid. Some metals tend to detach during printing from the layer below, some can be printed without supports at even lower angles.
Common questions by customers are about minimum wallthicknesses, ability of powder removal, shrink-line effects and porosities. Unfortunately the industry still did not find a way to standardize the restrictions, which means the individual case needs to be checked.
Beside metal printing, all other printing technologies also have individual restrictions. Which means first, that the designer needs to make the proper selection of material and printing technology before the actual design can start.
At AdditiveService you get not only designs which are made for the pre-selected production technology, but also help with chosing the right way of production.
Note: Additive Manufacturing is not always the best choice.