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Thermal management

Thermal management

Design the next generation of heat exchangers with the most powerful design software for additive manufacturing.

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Benefits of 3D-printed heat exchangers

Additively manufactured thermal management solutions can be safer, more efficient, longer lasting, and more reliable.

Enhance performance

High-performance, additively manufactured heat exchangers enable you to maximize heat transfer and minimize pressure drop.

Reduce size and weight

AM allows you to create smaller, lighter heat exchangers that can provide excellent heat transfer performance.

Extend operational life

Additive manufacturing enables engineers to retrofit assemblies with modern thermal management systems to keep them in the field longer.

Improve system reliability

Consolidating an assembly into a single additively manufactured component minimizes the potential points of failure.

Get the Thermal Management Guide

Learn how to design heat exchangers with higher performance, more compact size, and increased reliability.

Download guide

Industry applications of thermal management

Additive manufacturing helps create more efficient, longer-lasting thermal management solutions across a variety of industries.

Automotive industry

3D printing heat exchangers in the automotive industry can help engineers improve efficiency and overcome the challenges associated with designing electric vehicles.

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Aerospace industry

3D-printed, high-performance heat exchangers can help aerospace engineers balance heat transfer performance with weight and size requirements.

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Industrial heat exchangers

Additively manufactured heat transfer systems can increase efficiency for the energy production, precision manufacturing, and semiconductor industries.

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nTop’s critical tools for thermal management with additive manufacturing

TPMS and lattice structures

Generate complex, scalable lattice structures, with variable thickness and smooth transitions, in seconds.

Simulation-driven design

Control the location, density, and orientation of flow and thermal guides with thermal maps and flow fields.

Integrated thermal FEA

Rapidly assess thermal performance with linear, non-linear, thermal stress, and transient thermal analysis tools.

CFD and MDO interoperability

Generate new designs, mesh, and send to CFD for virtual validation or simulation software for rapid iteration.

KW Micro Power

Simulation and field optimization create a lighter microturbine housing with embedded cooling channels

KW Micropower used nTop to redesign the housing of their aerospace-grade, high-power-density, compact turbogenerator for metal additive manufacturing. Using field optimization and shelling, they reduced the housing’s weight by 44% and reduced the temperature by 33%.

The anatomy of a 3D-printed heat exchanger

Heat exchangers may vary in type, shape, and size, but their basic layout is the same. Here are the essential elements of an additive manufactured heat exchanger.

The body

The shape of a heat exchanger depends on the available design space. The traditional forms still provide high performance, but there is more freedom in their external dimensions.

The core

The core of the heat exchanger is typically filled with a lattice. TPMS structures, like the gyroid, yield the best results for liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers.

Piping and plenums

Inlet and outlet piping and plenums gradually introduce the flow into the heat exchanger and act as a pressurized buffer zone. Their geometry can be optimized using CFD data.


Baffles are used to prevent the cold and hot flows from mixing. They are typically introduced at the entrance and exit of the core.

Software built on transformative technology

Implicit Modeling

Design technology that will not break.

Remove design limitations and overcome fundamental challenges with our unique modeling engine.

Field-Driven Design

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.

Design Process Automation

Build processes, not just parts.

Create reusable workflows and algorithmic processes that save you time and empower your team to scale.

Ready to improve your heat exchanger design?

nTop has the tools you need to maximize the benefits of AM.