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A new software is being born to simplify the design of components for 3D printing

26 May 2022
When we think of additive manufacturing, the first image that comes to mind is that of the printer at work and, layer by layer, the part emerging. But long before pressing the "print” button, you have to build the computational model and simulate the component's future properties.

To simplify and speed up this step, a new design tool for additive manufacturing (DfAM) is being created at INEGI. Through a bank of pre-designed and easily adaptable projects, the solution will help the user to design in 3D, as well as support material selection, cost estimation, post-processing methods and life cycle analysis.

According to Luís Oliveira, responsible for the project at INEGI, the idea responds to a common problem in the industry: "most users, namely component manufacturers, have manufacturing capacity, but do not have the necessary internal skills to design and optimize the components”.

"It is a common problem in many industries, particularly those dealing with the supply of small series, unit manufacturing or prototypes, but also customized replacement parts,” he adds.

To answer this problem, the Institute's team has devised a solution that will significantly simplify the design phase, and reduce the cycle time required to obtain a component. To this end, it is responsible for developing the DfAM module, as well as the eco-scoring module to determine the environmental impact of printed components.

It is another INEGI bet on technological solutions to make additive manufacturing a flexible and competitive production response, which has the Portuguese CADFlow for the future marketing of the tool. The project also includes the Italian companies PRIMA and Morphica.

This work is taking place within the scope of the project «ParAM - Parametric AM Design Tool - Accelerating the Twin Transition by removing design barriers», funded by the EIT Manufacturing of the EIT (European Institute for Innovation and Technology).
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