This paper aims to present a methodology to help end-users to find appropriate part candidates for the use of the additive manufacturing (AM) technology. These shall be capable of bringing AM into their businesses. The concept furthermore includes approaches for redesigning current available parts and helps to estimate the economic implications of the use of the technology.
The approach starts to discuss general economic aspects for the successful use of AM. While describing the introduction of new technologies into existing businesses, the importance of an appropriate part selection for AM is pointed out. A methodology for a part selection process is presented, and the different criteria are developed. An approach for a redesign of the selected parts, including the gathering of requirements, is given based on different sample parts. A variation of criteria to include measures for product piracy is highlighted.
The methodology has proven applicability in several research and industry projects in aerospace applications. Independent part selections from experts analyzed within a project of the European Space Agency had a 90 per cent overlap with the results. It allows companies with only basic AM knowledge to start a part screening for applicable AM candidates in their own company with a reasonable effort.
The methodology for the redesign process helps to identify the main functions of the products targeted and the relevant environment, so one can benefit from the various advantages that AM has to offer. The selection methodology helps to ask the right questions and to reduce the effort.
Lindemann, C., Reiher, T., Jahnke, U. and Koch, R. (2015), "Towards a sustainable and economic selection of part candidates for additive manufacturing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 216-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-12-2014-0179
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