What is DFAM?

What is DFAM?

DFAM is an acronym that stands for " Design for Additive Manufacturing ". DFAM can be said to be a design guideline and a tool for maximizing the benefits of 3D printing (additive manufacturing).

Without the right data design, even the best 3D printer and the most precise settings will not yield the best results. DFAM is to 3D printing what programming is to computing.

Examples of DFAM include simple operations such as placing a part on the build plate of a 3D printer, reflecting the results of CAE analysis for better effect, and creating only by 3D printing. It also includes multiple step-by-step operations like building the part and optimizing the part for printing.

If you want to understand the value of DFAM for your business, want to bring in experts with the skills you need in-house, or want to learn more about this ever-growing new skill and process, here's DFAM. I'll introduce you.

Topology optimization, generative design

Topology optimization and generative design have become very popular in the last few years as 3D printing allows us to build complex shapes.

Benefits of topology optimization and generative design include building shapes that can withstand specific forces and reducing the weight of parts. Also, in order not to fail in the actual modeling, there is also the merit of "checking the suitability of 3D printing" such as whether the shape of the part (wall thickness, self-supporting shape, etc.) does not fall below a certain dimension at the time of design. There are many.

Note that topology optimization and generative design depend on the method and manufacturer of the 3D printer used, so even seemingly small shape changes can cause problems.

Understanding and implementing topology optimized shapes and generative design shapes requires specialized software and hardware know-how. However, they have become DFAM's most powerful tools because of their significant benefits.

Part integration 

A concept of DFAM is the integration of parts . This means that even parts that would have been assembled from multiple parts using conventional design and manufacturing methods can be integrated using DFAM to reduce the number of assembled parts while maintaining or amplifying functionality. can be reduced. To do this, engineers must break free from the limitations of traditional design methods and rethink how parts are assembled and designed from a completely different perspective.

(Image: Markforged)

The above image is a part of the tool manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker. Previously, four parts were assembled and made, but DFAM has made it possible to manufacture with only one part.

In this case, DFAM and 3D printers made manufacturing more efficient without special software or hardware. The key to this success is thinking of design and manufacturing from an “additive” perspective. This can be a challenge for engineers who have long been accustomed to thinking about manufacturing concepts using traditional design methods.

lattice structure

A lattice structure is a cell structure that fills the inside of a part made with a 3D printer, infill. The concept of lattice structures and their applications offer many advantages for 3D printing. The lattice structure in DFAM is similar to the rib in casting.

By changing the lattice parameters, you can change the mechanical properties of the part. Different 3D printing methods have different effects, but they are still important to DFAM.

Lattice infill inside the brake lever (Image: Markforged)

Various optimization methods in 3D printing 

Another skill in DFAM is optimization . There are a great many strategies for optimizing, and many are specific to each 3D printing modality or manufacturer, but generally the first step is to solve the existing problem and find out how to optimize 3D printing. is to explore For example, even a simple design change, such as changing the orientation of a part from vertical to horizontal during molding, can sometimes make a dramatic difference in molding and lead to success.

DFAM is one of the key skills to master for success in 3D printing. Based on our experience, we estimate that applying the DFAM process will double the value of the 3D printer modeling business, and we believe that the effect will be very large.

3D Printing Corporation accepts DFAM support and design agency. If you are interested in DFAM, please contact us below.

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