Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a technology that provides a high level of design freedom. The full potential of AM can only be used if possibilities and challenges of the technology are known and taken into account. In this context, information on the expected changes in performance data due to a suitable AM-design is important.
The idea of the project is to deduce active principles for defined topics using the advantages of AM. To show the practical application, active principles are used to develop generic case studies that are relevant to the industry. For this purpose, suitable design drafts are developed according to VDI 2221 and analyzed with regard to achievable performance enhancement to compare the AM-design with conventionally manufactured components.
As a long term objective, the idea of “Concept and Case Studies” shall be applied to different topics as a long term objective, starting in 2017 with:
- heat transfer
- structural optimization
The results show potential success of additive manufacturing in terms of heat transfer and structural optimization and can be used to inspire design engineers and to emphasize the technical benefits using AM.
The procedure is divided into three phases (Figure 1). The first step is a general research on the subjects. The investigation does not focus exclusively on the application of AM, but on the thematic objective itself. This approach allows a systematic and comprehensive examination of the topics in general, thus making it possible to focus on relevant approaches in a meaningful and well-founded manner. In addition to the identification of already existing concepts, new approaches can be detected by using the AM-specific possibilities.
The general research approach merges into the identification of suitable active principles. In the process, already known and new approaches are considered. In some cases, simulations were performed to estimate the influence on performance data. With a focus on the application in the design process, a clear and uniform form of presentation was important. Accordingly, all active principles were recorded in a uniform table form which, in addition to a graphic illustration, contains descriptions of practical relevance as well as application examples and their quantitative impact on the performance development. The tables are presented in a catalogue which contains the active principles as well as application examples.
In the concept phase of the design process, promising concepts must be selected, which are to be examined in greater detail. To support the decision in this early phase, experience is helpful. In order to make that available for the corresponding subject area, industrial demonstrator components are optimized using a design for AM (Figure 2). These components can be used to verify and demonstrate the applicability of the active principles for heat transfer (2 & 4), structural optimization (5) and combinations of both topics (1 & 3).
Due to the generic approach and the use of function-oriented active principles, the application of the results is not limited to the demonstrators. The active principles allow a broad applicability and can be used in further components.