Development of Design Guidelines for Metal Additive Manufacturing and Process Selection

Open Access
Samperi, Matthew T
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Timothy William Simpson, Thesis Advisor
  • Sanjay B Joshi, Thesis Advisor
  • Richard Martukanitz, Thesis Advisor
  • Dr Paul Griffin, Thesis Advisor
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Design for Manufacturing
  • Process Selection
  • Rapid Prototyping
Producing parts using metal additive manufacturing (AM) allows for creativity and flexibility while minimizing waste material that comes with traditional subtracting manufacturing techniques. However, in order utilize these AM capabilities, designers need to be aware of how the AM process impacts design and feasibility of manufacturing. These AM capabilities include different build materials, where each material has different capabilities for producing part features. Some metal AM capabilities also include being able to build a part with multiple materials, and complex geometries such as lattices and interior structures. Designing for these technologies requires all of this knowledge of metal AM capabilities and limitations. Since there are different types of metal AM processes, each with different capabilities, it can be a challenge to sort through all of this information and determine how to design a part and select a process. This thesis introduces a method to help designers learn how to design for metal AM processes and select which machine(s) to use to produce parts. In order to generate a series of design guidelines for metal AM, multiple AM machines are analyzed for their capabilities. These capabilities are captured as different geometric features and their limitations. Rules for how to design for metal AM are then built upon those features by assigning values to the features for different metal AM machines and organizing them into descriptive categories. An AM process selection tool is then created, with Exsys Corvid expert system software, by using the design guidelines to develop questions to ask a design about their part, which in turn feeds back any changes that need to be made. The input, outputs, and logic of the tool are addressed. Example parts are analyzed by the program to ensure the success in the creation of design feedback to assist in successfully designing a part for a metal AM process.