Additive design consultancy offers a unique service to exploit the potential performance gains metal or high grade polymer additive manufacturing can offer the design of your product. Using the latest CAD packages, a creative flair and a long experience of engineering for high end applications we can obtain new structural, fluid or thermal performance boundaries to take your product to the next level.
Our focus is to exploit the new design rules afforded by additive manufacturing and apply it to your product. For instance; using hollow, fluid filled walls in lightweight battlefield electronic equipment for ultra-efficient heat transfer from hot areas to cooler ones. Increasing service intervals, reliability and performance of equipment on the battlefield. This is achieved by filling a hollow wall of a printed aluminium part with a micro lattice. This allows the part to be printed and a fluid to fill the void.
We have the capability to apply and analyse lattices, even structural lattices, to parts as necessary. We design components to take advantage of lattice sandwich structures, which offer excellent weight savings, whilst delivering the structural or thermal aspects needed. We can also optimise geometry for the structural requirements of the part, by only placing material where the stresses dictate it is necessary. All these design aspects are only allowed due to the advent of additive manufacturing, and the new organic design rules will shape the next generation of high performance products.
We have great knowledge of the AM industry, the materials and how to design for them. We also have a suite of CAD packages that allows us to generate the complex forms, micro lattices and optimised geometry to create the ‘perfect’ design for your application. The common boundaries imposed on engineers with subtractive manufacturing are no longer present, allowing components and products to be designed to a set of new, non-linear design rules. This presents engineers with a far larger boundary to what is possible, and without the correct knowledge, and specific design tools, it can easily become overwhelming. Additive Design Consultancy has the experience, creativity and tools to utilise this technology for your application.
The greatest gains using the AM process, for production parts, are to be obtained when designing with this technology in mind at the conceptual level. This allows for the greatest gains in structural, fluid or thermal performance and it allows the component to take on a complexity or form not before possible. With the AM process, complexity is not a cost driver. Being involved at the earliest stages allows us to design the system or part in the most effective way to utilise these qualities of AM.
We can not only look at using microstructures, e.g. a hexagon or foam like core, but tailor the shape of the part/assembly organically to fully utilise this process. We use specialist software to optimise the topology of the part using organic design principles, because nature has been designing structures using additive manufacturing since the birth of life itself.
We have developed a unique additive design process, which allows us to only place material where it is required. We use a raft of analysis and optimisation tools to concurrently design the component ensuring it is both fit for purpose and as economically lean as possible. This allows us to set new performance boundaries for your fluid, thermal or structural application.
In many cases AM can achieve performance (structural, thermal or fluid flow to name a few) or cost improvements to existing parts or assemblies. Keeping the part, or assemblies, form, fit and function, AM can be used to greatly reduce part count, by grouping a number of components together in one form. It can replace a component that is complicated to produce and thus provide a cost saving. It can be used to simply strip out weight by use of a more exotic, lighter material, perhaps with added hollow features, to achieve added value through weight reduction. It could also be used to greatly improve thermal or fluid flow within a part, allowing the product to set new levels of performance or efficiency.
AM can also open the door to using other materials that may have been too costly to machine previously.
Incolnel’s, titanium’s, stainless steels do not differ greatly in their processing time, whereas in machining these parts, it would require a costly specialist. Not to mention the cost of the material you would purchase, but waste during the traditional subtractive manufacturing process.