Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Additive manufacturing enables more complex designs to be realized and hence it is vital that the best use is made of this added freedom. There is so much more value that can be gained by thinking about the inherent layer-by-layer process during design rather than following a conventional design philosophy.
For example, the layer-by-layer process means that multiple parts can be consolidated into a single piece, easing assembly operations further down the line. Parts can also be designed to have material only where they are needed thus reducing material cost and part weight. This weight reduction can be vital for drone parts and other components that need to have a high strength-to-weight ratio.
An interesting thing that a layer-by-layer process enables is the abillity to embed objects (e.g. sensors) in the part during the print process. CAD designs can therefore be made such that it's easy to insert these objects in the part during the print, and access relevant ports once it's completed.
Another great 3D printing advantage that can be leveraged during design is to introduce multi-functionality into the part. Design of a bed side lamp that also doubles as a phone charging dock can easily be achieved by thinking of the layer-by-layer process inherent in all 3D printing technologies.