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Dongguan datangshengshi intelligent technology co., LTD

Metal 3D Printing Design

Designing for metal 3D printing requires a new way of thinking and comes with a unique set of design rules and best practices.

Key Design Considerations

Designing for an additive process follows a different set of rules than designing for "traditional" manufacturing. Unique design freedom and unique constraints require designers to change their way of thinking.

Below is a list of key ideas to keep in mind when designing for metal 3D printing:

Key Design Considerations

Existing designs may not be directly transferable

Geometric complexity is an asset

First define the basic requirements

Always use minimal support structure

Postprocessing is always required

Design Optimization Tools and Software

Modern CAD packages provide tools to help you take full advantage of the geometric freedom of metal 3D printing. Using these algorithm-driven design tools, you can create organic structures that outperform parts designed using traditional methods.

There are three main strategies available today. These strategies can optimize the performance of existing designs or help create structures from scratch based on a set of design requirements.

lattice structure

Applying a plaid pattern is a great way to optimize an existing design.

Lattice structures can create lightweight parts, maximize the surface area of ​​heat exchangers, or improve printability and reduce the manufacturing cost of existing designs.

Topology Optimization

Simulation-driven topology optimization helps create structures with minimum mass and maximum stiffness.

In topology optimization, a user-defined design space and load cases are analyzed to identify areas where material can be removed. The simulated results can then be used to design the part for optimal performance under these load cases.

generative design

Generative design is a variant of the simulation-driven topology optimization process.

In generative design, the analysis produces multiple candidate designs rather than a single output. The resulting designs are all manufacturable and meet design requirements. This way, the designer can explore different solutions and choose the one that suits the application (eg, based on secondary trade-offs).

Using one of these advanced CAD techniques is highly recommended - especially when designing parts DMLS/SLM. Below we've collected a short list of some CAD packages that provide design optimization tools for metal 3D printing to get you started:

Altair inspired

Long-established and powerful topology optimization software with multiple simulation-driven design tools lattice structure capabilities.

Autodesk Fusion 360

All-inclusive and powerful CAD, CAM and simulation software with generative design tools for 3D printing and CNC machining.

n topological elements

Professional design and optimization software with advanced lattice functions.

design rules

Even with advanced CAD tools, you must follow certain design guidelines. These relate to the basic mechanics of the metal 3D printing process.