A Methodical Approach to Support Conceptual Design for Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) opens new possibilities for innovative product designs. However, due to a lack of knowledge and restrained creativity because of design fixations, design engineers do not take advantage of AM's design freedom. Especially multi-material AM provides new opportunities for functional integration that hardly considered in ideation. To overcome barriers in the development of solution ideas and utilizing such new design potentials, new design methods and tools are needed. Therefore, in this contribution, a methodological approach for a function-oriented provision of solution principles specific to material extrusion is presented. A tool is developed to facilitate effective guidance in developing solution ideas and to foster a realistic concretization by providing a combination of opportunistic and restrictive AM knowledge. Besides general levers of AM, process-specific design opportunities support the design engineers in exploiting AM's potentials, especially those who are not familiar with Design for AM. Finally, the applicability of the methodological approach is evaluated in an academic study by means of redesigning a hand prosthesis with a grab function.


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