As the field of design for additive manufacturing continues to evolve and accelerate towards admitting more robust designs requiring fewer instances of user-intervention, we will see the conventional design cycle evolve dramatically. However, to fully take advantage of this emerging technology — particularly with respect to large scale manufacturing operations — considerations of productivity from a fiscal perspective are sure to become of the utmost importance. A mathematical model incorporating the cost and time factors associated with additive manufacturing processes has been developed and implemented as a multi-weighted single-objective topology optimization algorithm. The aforementioned factors have been identified as component surface area and volume of support material. These quantities are optimized alongside compliance, producing a design tool that gives the user the option to choose the relative weighting of performance over cost. In two academic examples, minimization of compliance alongside surface area and support structure volume yield geometries demonstrating that considerable decreases in support material in particular can be achieved without sacrificing significant part compliance.

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