Understanding design for additive manufacturing in space applications
Angelica finished her master in industrial design engineering at Luleå university of technology in 2015 and has since then been a PhD student at the Product Innovation group. Her research is connected to the Graduate School of Space Technology at LTU and is performed in collaboration with the RIT-project (Space for Innovation and Growth).
Additive Manufacturing (AM), also called 3D-printing, have during the past decades increased in quality and many companies that perform product development now see the potential of using the manufacturing method in their production systems. It is mainly advantageous to use AM in low production volumes and complex geometries, which is why the space industry have a great interest in the technology. AM open up a new geometrical freedom that traditional manufacturing methods are unable to produce, but does at the same time bring new boundaries that didn’t need to be taken into account in earlier methods. This geometrical freedom open up expectations of generating product innovations, but in order to fully take advantage of the manufacturing method, it is important for design engineers to have an understanding of these geometrical possibilities and limitations. The research conducted by Angelica focuses on how design engineers create this AM understanding in the creative design process, to satisfy these expectations of AM. The purpose of the research is to support a successful creative AM design process, hence increase the competiveness of Swedish space companies.