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Design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) for industrial design speaker series

Written by nTop

Published on October 21, 2020

Our latest series of presentations by experts in the field exploring industrial design applications for additive manufacturing using computational design tools.

We are launching our latest Design for Additive manufacturing (DfAM) series for Industrial Designers.

Here's why.

Industrial designers were one of the earliest adopters of rapid prototyping. By 3D printing everything from rough design studies to exploring the look and feel of a product under rapid development, to super slick visualization models and maquettes to sell a concept to clients and marketing teams. Initially, these models could be very brittle due to the material properties and manufacturing processes that were available at the time and were not suitable for functional, end-use parts. 

As the processes evolved and matured, ‘rapid prototyping’ started to be referred to as ‘additive manufacturing (AM)’ (after a brief period of consumer 3D printing hype). The materials started to lend themselves to end-use products. While the material properties improved, many of the CAD programs used to design for other manufacturing processes could not keep up with the geometries the AM machines could produce.

Industrial designers that were looking to explore the capabilities either had to use more experimental tools such as plug-ins to Grasshopper (a plug-in for Rhino) or co-opt software and write their own code to try to realize their designs. While we have seen some really impressive designs come out of these experiments it is usually not a robust repeatable process that could be used to bring a family of products to market without a serious investment in custom code.

Enter nTop Platform

While many of the early adopters of nTop Platform were heavy in complex engineering and simulation workflows that are reliant on multiple data sources to solve an engineering problem, we are now seeing fast adoption in the industrial design space. To highlight some of these use cases our latest speaker series is focused on DfAM for Industrial Design, and how computational design tools can be used to explore new notions of product design, where an AM object can have transitions of functionality, patterns, and aesthetics, not just an assembly of parts.

Speakers include industrial and computational design experts from our friends at MIT, Stratasys, Fast Radius, Dive Design, Styklet, Avid, RIT University, Kostika Spaho & Nolan Kim, and even a few presentations from our team here at nTop.

We are incredibly thankful to all of the designers who have given their time to discuss their approach to DfAM for Industrial Design and think you will find the presentations informative, inspiring, and bold. Watch all the webinars in the series here.


nTop (formerly nTopology) was founded in 2015 with the belief that engineers’ ability to innovate shouldn’t be limited by their design software. Built on proprietary technologies that upend the constraints of traditional CAD software while integrating seamlessly into existing processes, nTop allows designers in every industry to create complex geometries, optimize instantaneously, and automate workflows to develop breakthrough 3D-printed parts in record time.