Design for Additive Manufacturing

To optimize a component for additive manufacturing, it is often necessary to adapt the design. The respective 3D printing process has to be taken into account, an optimization for a metal printing process is very different from an optimization for a plastic process.

3Faktur is specialized in additive manufacturing with the Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology. To make your components ‘fit’ for (small) series production, we offer you a design optimization of your parts or assemblies for this process.

Design Optimization in 3D Printing Example Door Handle with Grid Structure

Our Service: Optimization of the Design for the Multi Jet Fusion Process

Generally speaking, optimization makes economic sense for functional parts that are installed and produced in higher quantities. Optimization includes, among other things, the following focal points:

  • Improvement of surface quality: If visible parts are involved, optimization of the surface often makes sense. For example, stair-step effects and production-related effects (e.g. the sink effect typical of the MJF process) must be minimized. The application of textures (e.g. leather or wood-like structures) can also be part of the scope of optimization.
  • Achieving defined accuracies: If high accuracies are required at some points on the component, optimization can be useful. In this case, a tighter tolerance is often achieved by means of test series of different scales, as well as targeted changes to the geometry (e.g. in order to minimize shrinkage effects).
  • Extending the functionality of components / assemblies: The Multi Jet Fusion process can be used to create highly complex components. Parts or assemblies that are created in injection molding in several components and then assembled can often be created in additive manufacturing using fewer individual components. To achieve this, the design of the workpieces must be optimized to ensure the desired component functionality.
  • Cost reduction: For high order values, cost optimization can also be useful. The level of potential savings is highly dependent on geometry and function. Possible optimizations include, for example, removing protruding elements (more cost-effective printing) or reducing the volume of material.
  • Lightweight design: Weight reduction is a frequently desired property of additively manufactured workpieces. With the Multi Jet Fusion process, there are virtually no limits to the design, since even very complex structures (e.g. grids, topologically optimized, bionic structures) can be generated. The changes made to the design vary greatly and are primarily dependent on the component function.

More brief information about our service:

  • Costs: Billing based on time and effort, typical budgets are in the low to mid three-digit EUR range.
  • Procedure: Send us the data (STEP + drawing) with a short description via our contact form or by e-mail. We will check the data and contact you immediately.
  • Timelines: This is highly project dependent, from a few (1 – 3) days for less complex projects to a few weeks when multiple iterations, testing, and customer review are required.

Resources: Tutorials and Design Guidelines for Additive Manufacturing.

Of course, you can also do the optimization yourself. Online guidelines and tutorials on Design for additive manufacturing can be found here.

When optimizing, we always recommend that you create multiple part variants and 3D print and test them first. This way you can ensure that the desired result is achieved in series production.

If you have any questions, you can contact our technical customer service.