Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)

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Formatting: 10 pages, including images. Images cannot make up more than 20% of total space.

Single line spacing, 3/4 inch margins.

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Score: the paper has a maximum grade of 100 points and I will grade it subjectively, qualitatively.

Background: Additive Manufacturing makes complexity free (sort of), so take advantage of it. Curved surfaces, pockets and undercuts are very expensive to produce in subtractive manufacturing, but relatively “free” in AM. How can you take advantage of “free” complexity in a product that you choose from your local environment? What are the advantages, technical and economic, of choices you would make in redesigning your chosen product.

Select an object or product that interests you, perhaps something from your work, research or a class. Choose something that makes sense to produce using AM compared to other methods of production manufacturing (subtractive or formative). It could be an assembly of more than one component. Discuss why you think this product could be improved using AM, and how. Provide images or drawings of your object(s), with a few representative annotations that show what you think are “critical” dimensions.

Discuss user/customer requirements for the object(s) you chose. What color, surface finish, durability/duty cycle, temperature, chemical resistance, etc. are you envisioning will be required for your object(s)?

***VERY IMPORTANT *** Consider how you would design or redesign this object to take best advantage of AM. Discuss how could and would take advantage of the power of additive manufacturing in this object. Be specific – what features could be made better and how? Which of the requirements you listed above would be better addressed because you have additive?

What would you design differently if you have AM as a tool? How did you think and design differently to take advantage of AM? Be specific.

Which AM process(es) would be better or not for your design/object? Select an additive process for your object. Discuss your thought process – why did you choose this process? How would you create the object using the process you have selected, considering the strengths and limitations of AM in producing your object? What tradeoffs will you have to accommodate because of your selection? What orientation and scale trade-offs do you consider important for the particular AM process you selected and why? What material would you choose and why?

How will you define “quality” for your object? What parameters of quality do you think will matter most for your object? Consider these parameters as quality requirements. How will you validate the quality of your object according to these requirements when its produced?

***VERY IMPORTANT*** – What are the cost trade-offs you will make using AM to produce your object vs. another method of manufacture? What types of post-processing will you have to accomplish to deliver your object in its final form (per requirements above)? What does “complexity is free” mean with respect to your object(s), or doesn’t it?

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