When used together, 3D printing and topology optimization can deliver objects with minimum mass, which will save money in raw materials.
Topology optimization and additive manufacturing are two techniques that together have the potential to help you create a new generation of exciting products. While additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is widely used by product development organizations to create prototypes from digital models, topology optimization has been restricted to companies with extensive CAE resources, such as automotive and aerospace manufacturers. Until recently, the tools needed to generate designs with organic-like structures had not been available at a price, or a level of usability, that encouraged broader industry adoption. But that is changing, and topology optimization and additive manufacturing are now poised to accelerate the process of product development.
The promise of marrying these techniques is not just theoretical. A number of organizations have demonstrated the benefits of combining additive layer manufacturing (ALM) with topology optimization design. For example, research at EADS has showed that an Airbus A320 hinge bracket could be significantly reduced in weight by using ALM in tandem with topology optimization. The optimization process enabled the designers to quickly hone in on the most efficient, lightweight structure, while the use of ALM created further weight reductions by minimizing waste in the manufacturing process. Using these techniques together, the EADS design engineers had greater freedom to explore alternatives while cutting overall development time and costs. For the full story: http://www.makepartsfast.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5067&action...