Design for Additive Manufacturing
– opportunities and challenges –
Additive manufacturing brings a whole range of new possibilities for the development process of a product.
Tool-less nonspecific production machines offer so far unthinkable perspectives of individual adaptation for components. Thus, only by changing data - in a construction process - different parts can be made. This is possible regardless of the number of products and the location of the machine. Iterations of prototypes are created in the same method and material as the final product. The result is a very short process chain from the virtual model to the finished product.
Another essential aspect of additive manufacturing is the freedom of geometry. Material can be placed almost anywhere in the machine's packaging space, so that completely new designs can be implemented.
This shifting of limits for the feasible is essential to the design concept. Detached from paradigms of product development, which are determined by the previous manufacturing processes, we see here particularly the potential in functional integration.
Our focus is mainly on developing mechanisms and mobile constructions that - in line with the production and only possible through them - can be produced in a cohesive part. Stiff and flexible areas in a component are combined and connected together in such a way that a fully functional component falls out of the machine, which until now could only be manufactured and assembled from several individual parts.
A joint, such as a hinge, does not have to consist of several individual parts. In order to transform it meaningfully for the additive manufacturing it must be rethought in one piece. So it could be integrated directly into a product. By that the application of additive manufacturing fully exploit its potential and enable new innovative product solutions.