Special Issue "Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Mechanical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marco Mandolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: design methods and tools; design for manufacturing and assembly; design to cost; design for additive manufacturing
Dr. Patrick Pradel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Design School, Loughborough University, LE11 3TU, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Interests: Design for Digital Fabrication; Design for Additive Manufacturing; Design techniques; Digital Design
Dr. Paolo Cicconi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Via della Vasca Navale, 79, Roma, Italy
Interests: design tools and methods; design for additive manufacturing; design optimization; design configuration
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, one of the 9 enabling technologies of Industry 4.0, are experiencing a rapid growth. Nevertheless, the implementation of technologies by industries is still limited compared to their intrinsic potential. The main challenges that limit the adoption of such technologies are: lack of skills (need to train engineers capable of designing and managing these new technologies), sustainability of new processes (need to develop cost and environmental models capable of considering economic ​​and environmental sustainability of AM processes and related supply chain) and design (need of innovative design paradigms and Design for Additive software tools).

This Special Issue invites papers presenting methodologies, methods and software tools for aiding the conceptual, embodiment and detailed design phases of polymeric and metallic products to be made with AM technologies. We also welcome papers presenting frameworks and approaches at gathering and formalizing knowledge for supporting design engineers. With the aim to foster the product life cycle design, new methods and tools for assessing the economic and environmental impact of AM technologies are encouraged.

Dr. Marco Mandolini
Dr. Patrick Pradel
Dr. Paolo Cicconi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Design for additive manufacturing
  • Polymers and metal additive manufacturing
  • Design methods and strategies
  • Design and simulation tools
  • Design optimization
  • Knowledge-based engineering
  • Knowledge management
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Support structure design
  • Topology optimization
  • AM-process simulation

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Optimization Workflow in Design for Additive Manufacturing
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 2572; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11062572 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 334
Abstract
Additive Manufacturing (AM) brought a revolution in parts design and production. It enables the possibility to obtain objects with complex geometries and to exploit structural optimization algorithms. Nevertheless, AM is far from being a mature technology and advances are still needed from different [...] Read more.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) brought a revolution in parts design and production. It enables the possibility to obtain objects with complex geometries and to exploit structural optimization algorithms. Nevertheless, AM is far from being a mature technology and advances are still needed from different perspectives. Among these, the literature highlights the need of improving the frameworks that describe the design process and taking full advantage of the possibilities offered by AM. This work aims to propose a workflow for AM guiding the designer during the embodiment design phase, from the engineering requirements to the production of the final part. The main aspects are the optimization of the dimensions and the topology of the parts, to take into consideration functional and manufacturing requirements, and to validate the geometric model by computer-aided engineering software. Moreover, a case study dealing with the redesign of a piston rod is presented, in which the proposed workflow is adopted. Results show the effectiveness of the workflow when applied to cases in which structural optimization could bring an advantage in the design of a part and the pros and cons of the choices made during the design phases were highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Data-Efficient Neural Network for Track Profile Modelling in Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041654 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Cold spray is emerging as an additive manufacturing technique, particularly advantageous when high production rate and large build sizes are in demand. To further accelerate technology’s industrial maturity, the problem of geometric control must be improved, and a neural network model has emerged [...] Read more.
Cold spray is emerging as an additive manufacturing technique, particularly advantageous when high production rate and large build sizes are in demand. To further accelerate technology’s industrial maturity, the problem of geometric control must be improved, and a neural network model has emerged to predict additively manufactured geometry. However, limited data on the effect of deposition conditions on geometry growth is often problematic. Therefore, this study presents data-efficient neural network modelling of a single-track profile in cold spray additive manufacturing. Two modelling techniques harnessing prior knowledge or existing model were proposed, and both were found to be effective in achieving the data-efficient development of a neural network model. We also showed that the proposed data-efficient neural network model provided better predictive performance than the previously proposed Gaussian function model and purely data-driven neural network. The results indicate that a neural network model can outperform a widely used mathematical model with data-efficient modelling techniques and be better suited to improving geometric control in cold spray additive manufacturing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Design for Additive Manufacturing: Tool Review and a Case Study
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041571 - 09 Feb 2021
Viewed by 409
Abstract
This paper aims to collect in a structured manner different computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools especially developed for additive manufacturing (AM) that maximize the capabilities of this technology regarding product development. The flexibility of the AM process allows the manufacture of highly complex shapes [...] Read more.
This paper aims to collect in a structured manner different computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools especially developed for additive manufacturing (AM) that maximize the capabilities of this technology regarding product development. The flexibility of the AM process allows the manufacture of highly complex shapes that are not possible to produce by any other existing technology. This fact enables the use of some existing design tools like topology optimization that has already existed for decades and is used in limited cases, together with other novel developments like lattice design tools. These two technologies or design approaches demand a highly flexible manufacturing system to be applied and could not be used before, due to the conventional industrial process limitations. In this paper, these technologies will be described and combined together with other generic or specific design tools, introducing the study case of an additive manufactured mechanical design of a bicycle stem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Leveraging the Advantages of Additive Manufacturing to Produce Advanced Hybrid Composite Structures for Marine Energy Systems
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031336 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Many marine energy systems designers and developers are beginning to implement composite materials into the load-bearing structures of their devices, but traditional mold-making costs for composite prototyping are disproportionately high and lead times can be long. Furthermore, established molding techniques for marine energy [...] Read more.
Many marine energy systems designers and developers are beginning to implement composite materials into the load-bearing structures of their devices, but traditional mold-making costs for composite prototyping are disproportionately high and lead times can be long. Furthermore, established molding techniques for marine energy structures generally require many manufacturing steps, such as secondary bonding and tooling. This research explores the possibilities of additively manufactured internal composite molds and how they can be used to reduce costs and lead times through novel design features and processes for marine energy composite structures. In this approach, not only can the composite mold be additively manufactured but it can also serve as part of the final load-bearing structure. We developed a conceptual design and implemented it to produce a reduced-scale additive/composite tidal turbine blade section to fully demonstrate the manufacturing possibilities. The manufacturing was successful and identified several critical features that could expedite the tidal turbine blade manufacturing process, such as single-piece construction, an integrated shear web, and embedded root fasteners. The hands-on manufacturing also helped identify key areas for continued research to allow for efficient, durable, and low-cost additive/composite-manufactured structures for future marine energy systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
A Systematic Approach for Evaluating the Adoption of Additive Manufacturing in the Product Design Process
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031210 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies have expanded the possibility of producing unconventional geometries, also increasing the freedom of design. However, in the designer’s everyday work, the decision regarding the adoption of AM for the production of a component is not straightforward. In fact, it [...] Read more.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies have expanded the possibility of producing unconventional geometries, also increasing the freedom of design. However, in the designer’s everyday work, the decision regarding the adoption of AM for the production of a component is not straightforward. In fact, it is necessary to process much information regarding multiple fields to exploit the maximum potential of additive production. For example, there is a need to evaluate the properties of the printable materials, their compatibility with the specific application, redesign shapes accordingly to AM limits, and conceive unique and complex products. Additionally, procurement and logistics evaluations, as well as overall costs possibly extending to the entire life cycle, are necessary to come to a decision for a new and radical solution. In this context, this paper investigates the complex set of information involved in this process. Indeed, it proposes a framework to support and guide a designer by means of a structured and algorithmic procedure to evaluate the opportunity for the adoption of AM and come to an optimal design. A case study related to an ultralight aircraft part is reported to demonstrate the proposed decision process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Smooth Design of 3D Self-Supporting Topologies Using Additive Manufacturing Filter and SEMDOT
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010238 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 514
Abstract
The smooth design of self-supporting topologies has attracted great attention in the design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) field as it cannot only enhance the manufacturability of optimized designs but can obtain light-weight designs that satisfy specific performance requirements. This paper integrates Langelaar’s AM [...] Read more.
The smooth design of self-supporting topologies has attracted great attention in the design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) field as it cannot only enhance the manufacturability of optimized designs but can obtain light-weight designs that satisfy specific performance requirements. This paper integrates Langelaar’s AM filter into the Smooth-Edged Material Distribution for Optimizing Topology (SEMDOT) algorithm—a new element-based topology optimization method capable of forming smooth boundaries—to obtain print-ready designs without introducing post-processing methods for smoothing boundaries before fabrication and adding extra support structures during fabrication. The effects of different build orientations and critical overhang angles on self-supporting topologies are demonstrated by solving several compliance minimization (stiffness maximization) problems. In addition, a typical compliant mechanism design problem—the force inverter design—is solved to further demonstrate the effectiveness of the combination between SEMDOT and Langelaar’s AM filter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Resistive Sensor Design Utilizing the Geometric Freedom of Additive Manufacturing
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010113 - 24 Dec 2020
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Direct additive manufacturing (AM) of sensors has in recent years become possible, but still remains a largely unexplored area. This work proposes a novel resistive sensor design that utilizes the geometric freedom offered by AM, especially by material extrusion, to enable a customizable [...] Read more.
Direct additive manufacturing (AM) of sensors has in recent years become possible, but still remains a largely unexplored area. This work proposes a novel resistive sensor design that utilizes the geometric freedom offered by AM, especially by material extrusion, to enable a customizable and amplified response to force and deformation. This is achieved by using a multi-material design made of an elastomer and an electrically conductive polymer that enables a physical shortening of the conductive path under compressive load through a specific definition of shape. A number of different variants of this novel sensor design are tested, measuring their mechanical and electrical behavior under compression. The results of these tests confirm a strong resistive response to mechanical loading. Furthermore, the results provide insight into the influencing factors of the design, i.e., the gap size between the conductive pathing and the stiffness of the sense element support structure are found to be primary influencing factors governing sensor behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Enhancing Structural Performance of Short Fiber Reinforced Objects through Customized Tool-Path
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8168; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228168 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 652
Abstract
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is one of the most common additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for thermoplastic materials. With the development of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) filament for FDM, AM parts with improved strength and functionality can be realized. CFRP is anisotropic material and [...] Read more.
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is one of the most common additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for thermoplastic materials. With the development of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) filament for FDM, AM parts with improved strength and functionality can be realized. CFRP is anisotropic material and its mechanical properties have been well studied, however, AM printing strategy for CFRP parts has not been developed. This paper proposes a systematic optimization of the FDM 3D printing process for CFRP. Starting with standard coupon specimen tests to obtain mechanical properties of CFRP, finite element analyses (FEA) were conducted to find principal directions of the AM part and utilized to determine fiber orientations. A specific tool-path algorithm has been developed to distribute fibers with the desired orientations. To predict/assess the mechanical behavior of the AM part, the 3D printing process was simulated to obtain the anisotropic mechanical behavior induced by the customized tool-path printing. Bolt hole plate and spur gear were selected as case studies. FE simulations and associated experiments were conducted to assess their performance. CFRP parts printed by the optimized tool-path shows about 8% higher stiffness than those printed at regular infill patterns. In summary, assisted by FEA, a customized 3D printing tool-path for CFRP has been developed with case studies to verify the proposed AM design optimization methodology for FDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Topology Optimisation and Design Variants Selection for Additive Manufacturing-Based Systematic Product Redesign
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7841; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217841 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 630
Abstract
The development of additive manufacturing allows the transformation of technological processes and the redesign of products. Among the most used methods to support additive manufacturing, the design can be optimised through the integration of topology optimisation techniques, allowing for creating complex shapes. However, [...] Read more.
The development of additive manufacturing allows the transformation of technological processes and the redesign of products. Among the most used methods to support additive manufacturing, the design can be optimised through the integration of topology optimisation techniques, allowing for creating complex shapes. However, there are critical issues (i.e., definition of product and process parameters, selection of redesign variants, optimised designs interpretation, file exchange and data management, etc.) in identifying the most appropriate process and set-ups, as well as in selecting the best variant on a functional and morphological level. Therefore, to fully exploit the technological potentials and overcome the drawbacks, this paper proposes a systematic redesign approach based on additive manufacturing technologies that integrate topology optimisation and a tool for selecting design variants based on the optimisation of both product and process features. The method leads to the objective selection of the best redesigned configuration in accordance with the key performance indicators (KPIs) (i.e., functional and production requirements). As a case study, the redesign of a medical assistive device is proposed, previously developed in fused filament fabrication and now optimised for being 3D printed with selective laser melting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Fabrication of Complex-Shaped Ceramic Bone Implants via 3D Printing Based on Laser Stereolithography
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(20), 7138; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10207138 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
3D printing allows the fabrication of ceramic implants, making a personalized approach to patients’ treatment a reality. In this work, we have tested the applicability of the Function Representation (FRep) method for geometric simulation of implants with complex cellular microstructure. For this study, [...] Read more.
3D printing allows the fabrication of ceramic implants, making a personalized approach to patients’ treatment a reality. In this work, we have tested the applicability of the Function Representation (FRep) method for geometric simulation of implants with complex cellular microstructure. For this study, we have built several parametric 3D models of 4 mm diameter cylindrical bone implant specimens of four different types of cellular structure. The 9.5 mm long implants are designed to fill hole defects in the trabecular bone. Specimens of designed ceramic implants were fabricated at a Ceramaker 900 stereolithographic 3D printer, using a commercial 3D Mix alumina (Al2O3) ceramic paste. Then, a single-axis compression test was performed on fabricated specimens. According to the test results, the maximum load for tested specimens constituted from 93.0 to 817.5 N, depending on the size of the unit cell and the thickness of the ribs. This demonstrates the possibility of fabricating implants for a wide range of loads, making the choice of the right structure for each patient much easier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
Additively Manufactured Parametric Universal Clip-System: An Open Source Approach for Aiding Personal Exposure Measurement in the Breathing Zone
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6671; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196671 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
Design for additive manufacturing is adopted to help solve problems inherent to attaching active personal sampler systems to workers for monitoring their breathing zone. A novel and parametric 3D printable clip system was designed with an open source Computer-aided design (CAD) system and [...] Read more.
Design for additive manufacturing is adopted to help solve problems inherent to attaching active personal sampler systems to workers for monitoring their breathing zone. A novel and parametric 3D printable clip system was designed with an open source Computer-aided design (CAD) system and was additively manufactured. The concept was first tested with a simple clip design, and when it was found to be functional, the ability of the innovative and open source design to be extended to other applications was demonstrated by designing another tooling system. The clip system was tested for mechanical stress test to establish a minimum lifetime of 5000 openings, a cleaning test, and a supply chain test. The designs were also tested three times in field conditions. The design cost and functionalities of the clip system were compared to commercial systems. This study presents an innovative custom-designed clip system that can aid in attaching different tools for personal exposure measurement to a worker’s harness without hindering the operation of the worker. The customizable clip system opens new possibilities for occupational health professionals since the basic design can be altered to hold different kinds of samplers and tools. The solution is shared using an open source methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Topology Optimisation in Structural Steel Design for Additive Manufacturing
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2112; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052112 - 27 Feb 2021
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Topology Optimisation is a broad concept deemed to encapsulate different processes for computationally determining structural materials optimal layouts. Among such techniques, Discrete Optimisation has a consistent record in Civil and Structural Engineering. In contrast, the Optimisation of Continua recently emerged as a critical [...] Read more.
Topology Optimisation is a broad concept deemed to encapsulate different processes for computationally determining structural materials optimal layouts. Among such techniques, Discrete Optimisation has a consistent record in Civil and Structural Engineering. In contrast, the Optimisation of Continua recently emerged as a critical asset for fostering the employment of Additive Manufacturing, as one can observe in several other industrial fields. With the purpose of filling the need for a systematic review both on the Topology Optimisation recent applications in structural steel design and on its emerging advances that can be brought from other industrial fields, this article critically analyses scientific publications from the year 2015 to 2020. Over six hundred documents, including Research, Review and Conference articles, added to Research Projects and Patents, attained from different sources were found significant after eligibility verifications and therefore, herein depicted. The discussion focused on Topology Optimisation recent approaches, methods, and fields of application and deepened the analysis of structural steel design and design for Additive Manufacturing. Significant findings can be found in summarising the state-of-the-art in profuse tables, identifying the recent developments and research trends, as well as discussing the path for disseminating Topology Optimisation in steel construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Additive Manufacturing: Methods and Tools)
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