A methodology is presented for the design of a product to be made with additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, in particular the one based on selective laser melting by powder bed fusion (SLM), through the integration of engineering tools aimed at the definition of new technological constraints in addition to the design ones (size, weight and structural performance).
The draft product model is defined through the topology optimization process of a given material within a maximum allowed overall volume, by taking into account the severe mechanical loads imposed on it; then the thermal performance is compared against the starting point, and a heat spreading device is integrated.
Finally, the process definition, through thermal-mechanical analysis and the definition of the optimal production path (e.g. the laser beam) are carried out, as well as the product CAD model definition and the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T). This example shows very well the need for integration of all CAE – CAD – CAM tools, by means of a methodology here named DFAM, in order to obtain a reliable process and a good final product.