Author Archive

Metal powder bed design guide

Recently I’ve gotten a notable uptick in emails from engineers asking whether it’ll be cost effective to use metal powder bed fusion to make an existing (but conventionally manufactured) part. The answer is that it’s complicated, and depends largely on whether or not the part fits into the design requirements for powder bed fusion. Nine times out of ten it doesn’t, but in some cases it’s possible to adapt a design to fit - or redesign from the ground up with additive in mind. In order to help other engineers begin this process, let’s review some of the part characteristics and design guidelines for powder bed fusion.

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Design optimization software and you: a primer

Over the past few years, there’s been more and more talk about a new class of design optimization tools. Many of these tools create designs directly from the functional requirements that the user sets; others modify existing designs based on finite element simulations. While many of them are both experimental and expensive, they’re worth keeping an eye on. Here’s a rundown of the different approaches that these different tools take, and how they’ll affect your product development process.

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