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JUL/AUG 2013  

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Enhancing the design of parts made via additive and subtractive processes

French researchers recently released a white paper that describes their “design-for-manufacture” (DFM) method of optimizing the design of parts made by additive and subtractive techniques. The authors propose a method by which a one-piece CAD model of a part can be separated into modules—like pieces of a 3-D puzzle. Users can then determine which part features would be best to produce by additive and subtractive methods.

“To stay competitive in the modern mass-production industry, products have to be designed and manufactured with the following opposing goals: decreasing time and cost and improving quality and flexibility,” the paper states. “One way to improve product competitiveness is with DFM, which involves simultaneously considering design goals and manufacturing constraints to identify manufacturing problems while parts are being designed, thereby reducing the lead time for product development and improving product quality,” according to the paper.

Further research will be conducted to optimize the methodology and to define new manufacturability indexes.

Two industrial examples taken from the field of tooling have been treated to illustrate the possibilities of this new methodology, and the way it can be used in an industrial manner.

To read about the research and the two specific examples, the white paper is available for download here.