Wohlers partners with Materialise on design for additive manufacturing course

Wohlers Associates Inc., a consulting firm based in Fort Collins, CO, focused on additive manufacturing and 3D printing, announced a three-day course on design for additive manufacturing (DfAM). It is being held in collaboration with Materialise, a pioneer in 3D-printing software and services, from May 31 to June 2, 2017, at the Materialise headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. Wohlers Associates has twice offered a similar course for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center that was very well received.

“We are very happy to collaborate with Materialise, a company with an outstanding reputation and extraordinary track record,” said Terry Wohlers, President of Wohlers Associates. “Designers, engineers and managers wanting to learn how to design products for additive manufacturing will benefit from more than 55 years of combined company experience at Materialsise and Wohlers Associates.”

Airbus A380 spoiler
Shown here is a hydraulic manifold for an Airbus A380 spoiler, a wing device that slows the speed of an aircraft during descent. The version on the left is a conventionally machined manifold. The one on the right was redesigned using DfAM and produced by additive manufacturing. It flew on the A380 in March 2017. The AM version reduced weight by 55%, a significant benefit in aircraft manufacturing.

The course will provide expert instruction on DfAM methods, including the consolidation of several parts into one, resulting in significant savings in manufacturing processes, assembly, labor, inventory and certification paperwork. The course will also cover topology optimization, a technique whereby mathematics decide where to place material to optimize the strength-to-weight ratio. The technology produces organic and bionic structures in which material and weight can be reduced by up to 60% while preserving strength, said Wohlers Associates’ release.

Participants will gain valuable hands-on experience by designing parts using CAD and special software tools for additive manufacturing (AM). Some of the designs will be built on industrial AM equipment at Materialise so that attendees can evaluate the results. 3D scanning for custom product development will be included as an exercise, which was popular among NASA engineers.

Associate Consultant Olaf Diegel, PhD, will serve as the lead instructor. He has a rare combination of experience with both conventional design and manufacturing and DfAM. “Olaf has created more than 80 commercial products and is an engaging instructor, making him ideal for the course,” Wohlers stated. “The people at NASA had great things to say about him.”

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