All design requires consideration of the manufacturing method, even for digital manufacturing. Some key considerations when Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology is your method of choice are:
- Conserving support material
- Ensuring feature strength
- Reducing build time
This is easy if you use a few basic design tips demonstrated in these images of a housing design.
You can see that I incorporated as many 45-degree angles as possible, including in the teardrop-shaped circular holes, since FDM Technology can build overhangs as deep as 45 degrees without support material.
This conserves time as well as support material, since the print head has less to build on every layer, and the part requires little or no post-processing.
Another consideration was strength. In the third image, you can see a close-up of some cone-shaped bosses. FDM lets you add strength in a targeted way wherever you need it, which is what I did here.
As with any technology, if you keep 3D printing's properties in mind during the design phase, you'll learn to take better advantage of it, and the result will be better parts.
If you're interested, check out this related on-demand webinar: "Design for Manufacturability: DDM changes the rules"