DfAM Strategic Design Considerations
Design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) is when designers seek to create a product design that takes advantage of the unique capabilities of AM. DfAM also respects the specific process constraints of the AM technology that will be used to produce the product. This goes beyond merely re-designing existing parts for AM. Re-design for AM is useful because it can yield benefits such as a reduction in the use of material or the consolidation of several parts into one. However, what it fails to do is to consider the added benefits that AM can bring to an entire product through improvements in form, fit, and function. This book seeks to encourage engineers and designers to consider the strategic benefits of AM before concentrating on detailed design. Design for AM is definitely more of a thought process in which conscious decisions are made (often compromises) rather than just blindly following a set of design rules.