Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has rewritten the rule book for modern design and engineering. 3D printed parts are durable and inexpensive at low volumes. They:
Achieve previously impossible complex geometries
Do not require any tooling or other start-up expenses
Reduce initial production costs
Enables on-demand manufacturing
But the best design practices for traditional manufacturing technologies do not apply directly to additive manufacturing, and, in fact, can prevent users from getting the greatest value out of their 3D printing operations.
Start early in the Product Development cycle to include the benefits of AM
Factor in mechanical differences; 3D printing can produce shapes not possible with injection molding or machining.
Design latticed interior structures to reduce part weight and volume without sacrificing strength
Change part orientation to manipulate part rigidity levels
Think about ways to increase build density to increase part quantity and cost.