How to Design Your Part for Direct Digital Manufacturing
Design is no longer constrained by the limitations of conventional manufacturing processes.
Traditional manufacturing methods, like machining and injection molding have many rules, restrictions, and limitations. These rules don’t apply when using direct digital manufacturing. Designers are free to concentrate on the best design and not concern themselves with manufacturability.
Direct digital manufacturing (DDM) is a process unlike any other. Using additive fabrication technology to make products without tooling, molding and machining, DDM gives manufacturing a new set of capabilities that make what was once impossible or impractical a reality. These new capabilities eliminate constraints that have ruled the art of product design.
A fundamental advantage of DDM, which is often touted, is the “freedom of design.” In general terms, it is obvious what this implies, but how far does this freedom reach? What can a design engineer do with it, and what does he or she need to know? Essentially, design for manufacturability (DFM) rules are discarded. This frees the product development team to design the perfect part for the application.