Achieve next-level weight reduction with the most comprehensive lightweighting toolset on the market for additive manufacturing (AM).
What is lightweighting in design?
Lightweighting is the process of strategically decreasing mass while preserving overall strength and structural integrity. Additive manufacturing has created opportunities to apply new lightweighting techniques that enable you to achieve even greater mass reduction.
Benefits of lightweighting with additive manufacturing
Lightweighting with AM can dramatically improve energy efficiency, performance, and ergonomics while reducing manufacturing costs and emissions.
Improve energy efficiency
AM allows you to make lighter parts for vehicles and industrial products, which can improve fuel and energy efficiency.
Reduce material costs
Materials account for over 40% of manufacturing costs. Lightweighting with AM can reduce material usage to cut these costs.
Improve product performance
From cars and trucks to sports equipment, lighter products with 3D-printed parts can accelerate faster with the same amount of driving force.
Lighter, 3D-printed handheld devices and wearables improve the usability of medical devices and other equipment.
Get the Lightweighting Guide
Learn how to maximize the impact of lightweighting through smart design.
Industry applications of lightweighting
Lightweighting with additive manufacturing helps create more efficient products across a variety of industries.
New lightweighting technologies, paired with 3D printing, empower engineers to improve fuel efficiency and extend electric vehicle range.
Advanced lightweighting strategies with AM unlock new ways for engineers to design parts with optimal performance and increased functionality.
Lightweighting with AM gives product designers a competitive advantage by enabling them to improve usability and aesthetics while reducing costs.
nTop’s critical tools for lightweighting with additive manufacturing
Generate complex, scalable lattice structures, with variable thickness and smooth transitions, in seconds.
Drastically reduce material cost and design time with automated topology optimization and post-processing workflows.
Reduce weight with variable shelling, where shell thicknesses can be driven by data, such as simulation results, for optimized designs.
Use ribbing to conform to any complex surface, enabling thinner walls without sacrificing structural integrity.
Topology optimization and reusable workflows create lighter, more precise robotic end-effector
The engineers of DMG MORI’s ADDITIVE INTELLIGENCE team redesigned their Robo2Go head for additive manufacturing using nTop. The new design is 62% lighter, has 60% fewer components, and improves the handling precision of the robot by a factor of 16x.
The anatomy of an industrial component
Industrial products span a wide breadth of applications with vastly different requirements. Here is how a typical industrial component can be optimized for additive manufacturing.
The shell bears the majority of the loads and preserves the original shape. The thickness can be driven by simulation or test data to reinforce high-stress regions while keeping the overall weight low.
The lattice infill contributes to the structural integrity of the part, but its main purpose is to ensure manufacturability and minimize deformation.
Computational design techniques can be used to further refine the design. In this example, topology optimization was used to define the geometry near the hub.
The optimization workflow can be packaged within an automated design process, eliminating repetitive work, minimizing iteration cycles, and making it reusable on different parts.
Software built on transformative technology
Design technology that will not break.
Remove design limitations and overcome fundamental challenges with our unique modeling engine.
Your data goes in; optimized designs come out.
Feed your design workflows with real-world data, physics, and logic to harness the power of implicit modeling.
Build processes, not just parts.
Create reusable workflows and algorithmic processes that save you time and empower your team to scale.
Lightweighting resources for engineers and designers
Topology optimization driven ribs on a swing arm
Lightweighting applications through smart engineering design
8 benefits of lightweighting in manufacturing and engineering
Structural optimization: 7 design tips for lighter designs
Automotive lightweighting: Achieving radical gains through design
See what lightweighting can do for your parts.
nTop has the tools you need to maximize the benefits of AM.