This article develops and demonstrates a set of design-focused manufacturability constraints for the fused deposition modeling/fused filament fabrication (FDM/FFF) process. These can be mapped from the basic behavior and process characteristics and formulated in terms of implicit or explicit design constraints. When the FDM/FFF process is explored and examined for its natural limitations and behavior, it can provide a set of manufacturing considerations (advantages, limitations, and best practices). These can be converted into manufacturing constraints, which are practical limits on the ability of the process. Finally, these can be formulated in terms of design–useful manufacturability constraints. Many of the constants and parameters must be determined experimentally for specific materials. The final list of 54 major manufacturability constraints presented in this work will better inform designers considering using FDM/FFF as a manufacturing process, and help guide design decisions. After derivation and presentation of the constraint set, extensive discussion about practical implementation is provided at the end of the paper, including advice about experimentally determining constants and appropriate printing parameters. Finally, three case studies are presented which implement the constraints for simple design problems.
- fused deposition modeling
- fused filament fabrication