Key Words: LPBF, Design for AM, Topology Optimization, Bionics, Function Integration

Generative Design because New Manufacturing Methods Require New Designs

Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers the possibility to manufacture components of almost any complexity. In order to make the most of this groundbreaking technology in an economic way, product development – and in particular the design process – needs to merge AM potential and product design. Besides the design aspects, however, the developer has to consider manufacturing restrictions resulting from the process as well. Generative design supports the designer in meeting these various product requirements during design development. Generatively designed geometric complexity that can be represented on the production side leads to completely new design approaches – designs that can only be implemented by means of specially developed algorithms. For the creation of these complex geometries, the designer is dependent on these algorithms, since the manual creation of a bionic grid structure is only hardly possible in conventional CAD environments. For this reason, integrated methods for topology optimization are very popular in AM specific CAD environments. The simulation-supported component design in various optimization domains leads to highly complex, often bionic, structures that only AM processes can accomplish. However, Generative Design is not limited to bionics:

 Applications in the function integration field, such as near-contour cooling systems, or lightweight structures, such as surfaceor grid-based structures, are also part of this design method. Despite the high geometric degrees of freedom in AM, in this case, there are also manufacturing restrictions which have to be considered by means of Generative Design algorithms.

At the RWTH Aachen Chair for Digital Additive Production DAP different commercial software tools (Grasshopper, Siemens NX, 3DXpert, Netfabb) are available to support the design process optimized for AM. In addition, the Chair DAP develops customized solutions for computer-aided component design that can be integrated into existing software environments. A comprehensive database with material characteristics, production restrictions and process parameters is available for this purpose. We support you in the context of projects, training courses and software developments in the conception, design and subsequent production of innovative generative designs.

Johannes Willkomm, B. Sc.

Johannes Willkomm, M. Sc.

RWTH Aachen Chair
Digital Additive Production DAP
Campus-Boulevard 73
52074 Aachen