The 3D Printing industry is maturing and there is an expanding variety of technologies creating choice in the way you create your parts. In addition, the 3d printing industry is making inroads into manufacturing and becoming a viable alternative to more traditional methods of manufacture. While these new technologies are revolutionizing the way we make our parts, the implications for design and engineering must be considered. Here are a few of the major considerations when developing your next product.
Material properties, while becoming less of an issue, continue to be a concern especially for mission critical components. Select the right material for your application.
Build limitations may be a concern. Technologies like FDM are based on a layer by layer extrusion of filament and rely on the layers fusing together properly. These layers can have flaws and compromise a parts structure or appearance.
Design for additive manufacturing should be considered in order to get a clean and robust part. feature details like overhangs, thin walls and fill percentages need to be dialed in before building a part.
There are several other considerations to 3d printing parts and we will over the course of the next few months go into detail on each aspect of the 3d printing workflow. Check back for more on this subject.