Design for AM

Opening the discussion: How the humble bottle opener demonstrates the importance of requirements in AM

Designs not driven by requirements increase the risk of an incomplete solution. This relatively simple statement gets to the heart of how designers need to be approaching AM, particularly when balancing the ‘design freedoms’ offered by the technology with the reality of viable and profitable production. Through an exploration of the ubiquitous AM bottle opener, John Barnes, Jennifer Coyne and Chelsea Cummings, The Barnes Global Advisors, and Jon Meyer, APWorks, explore how, by focusing on requirements, a data-driven approach ensures fully functional designs that deliver on multiple requirements for the lowest cost. ... Read more »

Fig. 1 The opportunistic and restrictive design space: DfAM and MfAM

Simufact Additive: Accelerating the metal Binder Jetting workflow with sintering simulation

The ability to ‘design out’ distortion during sintering is seen as key to enabling the faster commercialisation of metal Binder Jetting (BJT). The Simufact Additive software platform, now on the third release of its BJT sintering module, is able to accurately simulate the sintering process, predicting shrinkage, slumping and friction-related distortion, either with or without ‘live’ and ‘ceramic’ setters, resulting in a downloadable ‘compensated’ component geometry to be fed directly to the AM machine. In this article, Jeff Robertson explores through case studies how The ExOne Company has been using the software in its AM adoption and R&D centres to optimise customer parts for sintering. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 3, Autumn 2021] ... Read more »

I want to break free: The journey towards reducing or eliminating support structures in Additive Manufacturing

Support structures have been there for us since the beginning of AM, anchoring us to a firm foundation and taking the heat when things get intense. But they also bring with them baggage that is now holding us back, blocking channels and taking up valuable time and materials. Is it time to break free? In this article, Jennifer Coyne and John Barnes, of The Barnes Global Advisors, explore our journey so far with support structures, their advantages and disadvantages, and consider the opportunities and impact of the shift towards ‘support free’ strategies. Through three case studies, cost and productivity of conventional and ‘support free’ production are compared. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 3, Autumn 2021] ... Read more »

The future is Additive Manufacturing – if we take a more holistic view of the design opportunities

The uptake of Additive Manufacturing by industry, believes Autodesk’s Paul Sohi, has been both stratospherically high and confusingly low. In explaining and addressing this dichotomy, Sohi explores the multiple potentials of AM when approached by taking a more holistic view of design challenges. Whilst there is no doubt that the popularisation of AM technology is influencing how we design products by shifting the design language to embrace more complex or nonstandard forms, Sohi believes that this is where the application of AM seems to be stagnating. So, how can we close the loop from design to manufacturing? [First published in Metal AM Vol. 7 No. 2, Summer 2021] ... Read more »

Metal AM magazine Summer 2022

Forging a process for mass customisation via metal Additive Manufacturing

Metal Additive Manufacturing technologies offer the potential for true mass customisation, but in order to leverage this opportunity, new, complex workflows and business models have to be implemented. In this article, Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Ashley Eckhoff considers the challenges when addressing the topic, from the addition of further complexity, to an already challenging Additive Manufacturing workflow, to traceability and regulation. By adapting the AM process to meet these needs, companies can reap the benefits of new markets uniquely suited to this technology. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 7 No. 2, Summer 2021] ... Read more »

Metal AM magazine Summer 2022

Optimised thermal management in semiconductor fabrication using AI-enabled generative design and Additive Manufacturing

An unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic has been its impact on the multibillion dollar semiconductor microchip market: at the very same moment as demand for consumer electronics skyrocketed due to global lockdowns, the supply of semiconductors was bottlenecked by production disruptions. Now, supply chain shortages threaten the production volume of the industries dependent on these parts. Scott Green and Niels Holmstock, 3D Systems, and Lieven Vervecken and Gert-Jan Paulus, Diabatix, explore how metal AM can be used to increase efficiency in semiconductor fabrication and boost the speed at which these vital components can be produced. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 7 No. 2, Summer 2021] ... Read more »

Metal AM magazine Summer 2022

Design for Additive Manufacturing: A workflow for a metal AM heat exchanger using nTopology

Heat exchangers have become – excuse the pun – a hot topic in metal Additive Manufacturing. This is an application that can, in one go, leverage advances in equation-driven CAD design software and the capabilities of AM to produce geometries that would be impossible by any other manufacturing process. Olaf Diegel, Wohlers Associates, reports on a project exploring workflows for AM heat exchanger design using design tools from nTopology. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 7 No. 2, Summer 2021] ... Read more »

Metal AM magazine Summer 2022

Obstacles to the adoption of metal AM by small- and medium-sized enterprises

It is no secret that metal Additive Manufacturing still faces significant challenges that stand in the way of broader adoption in industry. Aside from AM service providers, very few small- to medium-sized enterprises have brought metal AM in-house; many lack the capabilities, knowledge and resources to do so, even if the will is there. In this article, Olaf Diegel, Noah Mostow and Terry Wohlers discuss the complex, and often multi-faceted, obstacles that stand between AM and its wider global adoption, and how those obstacles can be addressed and resolved in order to clear the path to achieving the technology’s full market potential. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 7 No. 1, Spring 2021] ... Read more »

Metal AM magazine Summer 2022

Metal AM in South Africa: Research and commercial initiatives bring the benefit of AM to the African continent

The Additive Manufacturing industry in South Africa has come a long way since the installation of the country’s first AM machine in 1991, with a number of research and commercial initiatives driving the development of world-class applications and knowledge. In this article, Terry Wohlers and Olaf Diegel, Wohlers Associates, present an overview of metal Additive Manufacturing activities in South Africa, from the technology’s life-changing use for medical implants to its development for rapid, large-scale part production and beyond. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 4, Winter 2020] ... Read more »

Metal AM magazine Summer 2022

Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM): Binder Jetting Technology demystified

Able to achieve quicker build speeds and lower cost per part than its rival technologies, metal Binder Jetting (BJT) has generated increasing interest and rapid industry investment over the past two years. But while many engineers are now becoming familiar with the principles of design for Powder Bed Fusion AM, design for BJT is less widely understood. In this article, Olaf Diegel and Terry Wohlers attempt to demystify some of the key factors that must be considered when designing parts for BJT. [First published in Metal AM Vol. 6 No. 2, Summer 2020] ... Read more »

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Transforming access to medical implants with PrinterPrezz
  • Lessons from 2021’s Olympic bike crash
  • Xerox liquid metal AM
  • Additive Manufacturing for oil, gas and maritime
  • Multi-material metal parts by Powder Bed Fusion
  • Findings from Wohlers Report 2022
  • The challenge of grain size: X-ray powder diffraction analysis of parts made by metal AM

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