Selective laser melting (SLM) is used to manufacture a patient-specific stainless steel positioning guide for spinal screws. The screws are successfully inserted in the neck vertebrae of a 3-year old patient to strengthen unstable joints. This article highlights the challenges and describes the steps used to design, customise, build and post-process the component.
Design theories and methodologies are specifically developed to suit AM technologies. This research area focuses on optimising the design process efficiency. For non-experts, the ideation process, as well as the display and analysis of the designs conceptualised, require specific digital assistive tools. This post aims to scope these and summarise their uses.
How do you combine design guiderules for SLM and topology optimisation? How do you prioritise the design optimisation tasks while minimising the design iterations?
Industrial designers do not yet have a clear framework to review, redesign, and optimise existing designs in order to take full advantage of the benefits that SLM can offer.
In this post, we present the methodology used to redesign an aluminium bracket for SLM in order to save weight while maintaining performance. The key objective is to take into account the manufacturing constraints, user’s requirements and take advantage of technology’s design freedom.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a set of manufacturing technologies capable of producing complex, three dimensional objects without the need for individual tooling.
Once designers identify suitable products in a company portfolio , they can select a suitable design strategy to develop new and/or improve existing products. This choice determines the development process and should be made carefully.
It is unlikely AM will replace conventional manufacturing technologies. Yet, the significant advantages of AM [link] are too good to ignore. For instance, almost any shape can be manufactured with AM. The design process can then focus on improving functions. This is a challenge for designers, who are not familiar with these new manufacturing technologies. So how do you know if a product is a suitable candidate for AM?