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Research Papers

A Functional Classification Framework for the Conceptual Design of Additive Manufacturing Technologies

[+] Author and Article Information
Christopher B. Williams

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061cbwilliams@vt.edu

Farrokh Mistree

School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,  Oklahoma University, Norman, OK 73019farrokh.mistree@ou.edu

David W. Rosen

G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering,  Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0405david.rosen@me.gatech.edu

J. Mech. Des 133(12), 121002 (Dec 09, 2011) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005231 History: Received October 10, 2010; Revised September 16, 2011; Published December 09, 2011; Online December 09, 2011

Many different additive manufacturing (AM) technologies enable the realization of prototypes and fully-functional artifacts. Although very different in solution principle and embodiment, significant functional commonality exists among the technologies. This commonality affords the authors an opportunity to propose a new classification framework for additive manufacturing technologies. Specifically, by following the systematic abstraction approach proposed by the design methodology of Pahl and Beitz, the authors first identify the working principles of each AM process. A morphological matrix is then employed to functionally present these principles such that commonalities between processes can be identified. In addition to using it as a means of classifying existing processes, the authors present the framework as a tool to aid a designer in the conceptual design of new additive manufacturing technologies. The authors close the paper with an example of such an implementation; specifically, the conceptual design of a novel means of obtaining metal artifacts from three-dimensional printing.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Conceptual design abstraction process

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Figure 2

Additive manufacturing function structure

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Figure 3

Physical principles of additive manufacturing process subfunctions

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Figure 4

Morphological matrix for AM processes

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Figure 5

Working structures of photopolymerization-based AM processes

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Figure 6

One-dimensional thermal energy patterning principles

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Figure 7

Examples of cellular materials with designed mesostructure: (a) acetabular cup designed to match the porosity of patient’s bone [65]; (b) robot arm optimized for low mass with stiffness constraints [66]

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