DfAM

The acronym DfAM – Design for Additive Manufacturing – has emerged in recent months to define all those practices and skills that enable a designer or an engineer to create objects which optimally leverage the geometric potential of additive manufacturing technologies.



These skills and practices include many software tools – often included in CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) programs as well as capabilities that are derived from personal experience. Next generation CAD and CAE software may provide support through a wide range of approaches. These include processes such as topology optimization – that is the ability to add material where it is needed and remove it where it is unnecessary – or the parametric generation of lattice and trabecular structures. There are highly intricate networks of structures that can confer a specific component the same or better mechanical properties than solid parts, using less material and thus reducing manufacturing costs. Furthermore, these types of structures can be produced only through layered additive manufacturing processes.


While these approaches are becoming adopted in advanced engineering, there were still largely unknown until just a few years ago, when only a handful of forward-looking creatives, artists and product designers began to experiment with them in combination with AM technologies. Today DfAM has grown to encompass concepts such as mass customization – the ability to serially manufacture custom products – as well as wearable technology and even personalized food manufacturing. These designers continue to show us the way products will be digitally and additively made in the future. Check out 3dpbm’s exclusive celebrity survey with some of the world’s greatest DfAM designers.

  • Photo of nTopology signs distribution agreement with NTT DATA XAM Technologies in Japan

    nTopology signs distribution agreement with NTT DATA XAM Technologies in Japan

    After signing an MoU with Yamaichi Special Steel just last month, to bring it’s nTop software to Japan’s automotive industry, NYC-based software firm nTopology has now established a distribution partnership with NTT DATA XAM Technologies, the recently established AM division of Japanese system integration giant NTT DATA Corporation (a partly…

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  • Photo of DfAM takes aerospace to new heights

    DfAM takes aerospace to new heights

    This interview was originally published in the 3dpbm AM Focus eBook on Aerospace. When you talk about additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry, it is impossible not to discuss design. Design is one of – if not  – the most important driving factors behind AM’s benefits in the development of aerospace…

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  • Photo of DfAM software startup TOffeeAM raises £1 million in seed funding

    DfAM software startup TOffeeAM raises £1 million in seed funding

    A new developer of additive manufacturing design software, TOffeeAM, has raised £1 million in seed funding, which will enable it to expand its team and increase its engineering capabilities. UK-based TOffeeAM was founded in 2019 as a spin-out of Imperial College London and has brought to market a highly automated…

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  • Photo of Overall design considerations for 3D printing

    Overall design considerations for 3D printing

    Designing for additive manufacturing (DfAM) can seem daunting. Often, the phrase DfAM is juxtaposed with images of complex lattice structures or forms that look more organic than mechanical. In reality, 3D printing is inherently a very forgiving process when it comes to design best practices. It can easily perform internal…

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  • Photo of A guide to design for Desktop Metal’s BMD process

    A guide to design for Desktop Metal’s BMD process

    Increasing the accessibility and cost-efficiency of metal additive manufacturing has been a goal of the industry since its early days. Today, as broad industrialization looms on the horizon, there is one company that can be credited as helping to dramatically accelerate this journey: Desktop Metal. The Massachusetts-based company, which drew…

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  • Photo of nTopology and ORNL sign CRADA to advance AM design for BAAM

    nTopology and ORNL sign CRADA to advance AM design for BAAM

    Software developer nTopology has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with the aim of advancing AM capabilities through integrated software toolkits. Through the collaboration, nTopology will work with ORNL to embed the latter’s expertise into the nTop Platform with an eventual…

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  • Photo of Researchers look to the human fetus for DfAM inspiration

    Researchers look to the human fetus for DfAM inspiration

    For those in the additive manufacturing industry, it is a well known fact that AM requires different design principles than subtractive manufacturing techniques. Today, many resources in the industry (as well as at a research level) are dedicated to advancing Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), which leverages the design freedom…

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  • Photo of Arcimoto and XponentialWorks lightweight Fun Utility Vehicle using DfAM

    Arcimoto and XponentialWorks lightweight Fun Utility Vehicle using DfAM

    Corporate advisory company XponentialWorks, which specializes in 3D printing, AI and other next-gen technologies, is turning its focus to the road through a new partnership with electric vehicle company Arcimoto. Together, the companies are producing lightweight 3D printed components for Arcimoto’s Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV) with the aim of reducing…

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  • Photo of MSC launches new design optimization software solution

    MSC launches new design optimization software solution

    MSC Software Corporation, a provider of CAE simulation software, has launched a new design optimization solution, MSC Apex Generative Design, at Formnext. The program provides a high degree of automation for design processes and reportedly has the potential to improve productivity by up to 80% compared to more traditional topology…

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  • Photo of PTC to acquire cloud-based online CAD/CAE software provider Onshape

    PTC to acquire cloud-based online CAD/CAE software provider Onshape

    PTC signed a definitive with Onshape, creators of the first Software as a Service (SaaS) CAD/CAE product development platform. As per the agreement, PTC acquires Onshape for approximately $470 million. The acquisition is expected to accelerate PTC’s ability to attract new customers with a SaaS-based product offering and position the company…

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