What Is Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)?

What Is Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)?

Seung Hwan Joo, Sung Mo Lee, Jin Ho Yoo, Hyeon Jin Son, Seung Ho Lee
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4054-1.ch009
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In order to use 3D printing technology as a sanction, it is necessary to optimize topology, component unification, and reduce weight need for advanced manufacturing design. In the case of metal 3D printing, it is necessary to manage deformation and defects in the process cause of using laser, and support generation and design optimization must be accompanied for efficiency. Currently, design progresses through simulation before actual production in AM field. This chapter explores design in additive manufacturing.
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Necessity Of Design For Additive Manufacturing (Dfam)

When 3D printing technology was first introduced, it was raved by many as an omnipotent tool similar to the philosopher's stone. However, many of the enthusiasts seem to adjust their original thoughts from ‘the technology that can create anything’ to ‘technology of still far future’ after using 3D printers on the market. I sometimes think the following. Is the problem lies in the 3D technology that is not fully developed? or in the people who are not familiar with methods of utilizing the new technology called 3D printing? To answer this question, it is necessary to understand the concept of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM). DfAM is the key not only to the method of using 3D printing in manufacturing fields but also to generating new service markets via 3D printing.

DfAM is an advanced concept from DfM (Design for Manufacturing) which maximizes the time and cost productivity in product manufacturing through maximizing the best features of the manufacturing method. It is a design approach combined with additive manufacturing technology. It minimizes the manufacturing steps in product development and manufacturing process and maximizes functionality and performance of the product to mass-produce the upgraded products quickly with lower unit cost.

According to Ian, G (2014), the meaning of 3D printing technology in the fields of design, planning, and manufacturing. Early on, 3D printing has been expected to change the existing industry paradigms. Not only the process from the idea to product manufacturing would be surprisingly shortened, but also the perspective of designing and planning would be changed 180 degrees, allowing innovative design methods to be applied to manufacturing that is enabled only by 3D printing technology (p.399-435).

This also included the implementation of lightweight/high strength structure via optimized design, the possibility of one-process manufacturing without a complex assembly process to create products in complex forms, and the simultaneous application of composite material. This is DfAM, which is the design and engineering approach that can maximize the benefits of 3D printing technology. One of the most well-known limitations of 3D printers is its slow speed. With DfAM, productivity increases significantly, and the performance of product improves. People realized that it could increase productivity when it made it possible to drastically shorten the manufacturing process by 3-4 weeks.

Figure 1.

Comparison between the traditional manufacturing method and 3D printer manufacturing method


Figure 2 exhibits the application case of 3D printing technology on the complexity of design shape, material, and dimension that DfAM can overcome.

Figure 2.

Complexity of manufacturing surmountable by DfAM


DfAM is mainly used largely in four fields including

  • Lightweight structure

  • Parts unification of producing a number of parts into one part

  • Design that enables different properties from the material of one component

  • Medical-specialized design.

Figure 3.

Definition of DfAM: a) Light weight b) Part unification c) Multi-property material d) Specialized part (Medical)


There are various techniques in DfAM:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lattice Structure: A lattice is an ordered array of points describing the arrangement of particles that form a crystal.

3D Printing: It is a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design (CAD) model, usually by successively adding material layer by layer, which is why it is also called additive manufacturing.

Microstructure: It is the very small scale structure of a material, defined as the structure of a prepared surface of material as revealed by an optical microscope.

Electron Beam Melting (EBM): The technology manufactures parts by melting metal powder layer by layer with an electron beam in a high vacuum.

Directed Energy Deposition (DED): It is an additive manufacturing process where metal wire or powder is combined with an energy source to deposit material onto a build tray or an existing part directly.

Additive Manufacturing Simulations: The physics behind the manufacturing process can be accurately recreated in software platforms enabling end to end digitalization – predicting residual stresses, voids, cracks, and so on, factors which will be crucial in the service life of a part.

Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM): It is design for manufacturability as applied to additive manufacturing (AM). It is a general type of design methods or tools whereby functional performance and/or other key product life-cycle considerations such as manufacturability, reliability, and cost can be optimized subjected to the capabilities of additive manufacturing technologies.

Topology Optimization: It is a mathematical method that optimizes material layout within a given design space, for a given set of loads, boundary conditions and constraints with the goal of maximizing the performance of the system.

Direct Metal Disposition (DMD): It is an extremely flexible technique with application in multiple areas from large scale component repair to medical implant manufacture.

Powder Bed Fusion (PBF): It is a subset of additive manufacturing (AM) whereby a heat source (eg, laser, thermal print head) is used to consolidate material in powder form to form three-dimensional (3D) objects.

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