Additive manufacturing (AM) processes are used to fabricate complex geometries using a layer-by-layer material deposition technique. These processes are recognized for creating complex shapes which are difficult to manufacture otherwise and enable designers to be more creative with their designs. However, as AM is still in its developing stages, relevant literature with respect to design guidelines for AM is not readily available. This paper proposes a novel design methodology which can assist designers in creating parts that are friendly to additive manufacturing. The research includes formulation of design guidelines by studying the relationship between input part geometry and AM process parameters. Two cases are considered for application of the developed design guidelines. The first case presents a feature graph-based design improvement method in which a producibility index (PI) concept is introduced to compare AM friendly designs. This method is useful for performing manufacturing validation of pre-existing designs and modifying it for better manufacturability through AM processes. The second approach presents a topology optimization-based design methodology which can help designers in creating entirely new lightweight designs which can be manufactured using AM processes with ease. Application of both these methods is presented in the form of case studies depicting design evolution for increasing manufacturability and associated producibility index of the part.

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