Many assemblies are designed as assemblies because of limitations with traditional manufacturing processes. But with direct digital manufacturing you no longer have to worry about how to get a tool into position to machine a feature or how to get the part out of a mold. Direct digital manufacturing lets you build any geometry that you can define in your CAD system. No longer limited by the process, direct digital manufacturing allows complete assemblies, both static and dynamic, to be constructed as a single part. This approach can substantially reduce manufacturing costs by eliminating the need to build and assemble multiple components. It can also improve the reliability of your product by eliminating the possibility of the assembly coming apart.
"How to Design Your Part for Direct Digital Manufacturing" is a Stratasys white paper that explains how to take full advantage of the benefits of additive manufacturing during the design process. Here';s the last of four excerpts from the paper, along with a link to the full paper:
Part consolidation is a big advantage of DDM that should be considered at all times. Rather than producing a multi-piece subassembly, the entire unit may be consolidated into a single component. By consolidating parts, the assembly process is eliminated and inventory management is simplified, which results in lower manufacturing costs. Part consolidation may also be used to overcome an overly tight tolerance specification. For example, a tight-tolerance interface can be avoided by simply consolidating mating parts.
View or download the complete How to Design Your Part for Direct Digital Manufacturing white paper.