DfAM: 3D
printing design strategies‑training

DfAM: 3D
printing design strategies‑training

Discover the benefits of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) training and empower your employees to innovate.

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Whether you’re considering training your team in Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) principles and guidelines or a designer, engineer, R&D team member, or 3D print service bureau employee considering training, choosing the right course is essential.

The importance of DfAM training

DfAM is a general set of principles and guidelines that help designers and engineers optimize designs for the constraints and attributes of the final part or product, taking into account the specific type of 3D printing technology or materials you’re using.

For 3D printing processes, DfAM is the starting point for any 3D printing project and will determine the success or failure of the final 3D printed output.

It is a critical skill that can help design engineers bring unique innovation to products and processes when they shift their design mindset to embrace strategies that go beyond current manufacturing limitations, and that optimize part design to get the best output from their desktop or industrial 3D printer.

In this article, we will identify the essential components of what makes a good DfAM training course and introduce you to HP’s comprehensive range of DfAM training options.

What should you expect from DfAM training?

Recognizing the need to upskill the current and future generation of designers and engineers to adopt cutting-edge manufacturing processes like 3D printing, many industrial/mechanical design and engineering education institutions now include DfAM content in their curriculum material. In addition, many 3D printer and software vendors offer DfAM training courses for their specific processes.

Courses may be offered online, showcasing detailed examples and a variety of design challenges and materials although presential is better, as you can actually manipulate and experience 3D printed parts that have been designed using DfAM.

DfAM training can cover a range of core topics that will vary depending on the additive manufacturing processes and materials it includes. Many DfAM courses offer a variety of levels that guide you towards eventually becoming a certified expert in design techniques for one or multiple additive manufacturing processes.

In a typical course, you can expect to learn about subjects such as:

Design guidelines

Covering basic dimensions and tolerances as well as design examples that can be achieved with specific 3D printing technologies and materials.

Job preparation

How design decisions impact nesting or packing within the build chamber, which in turn impacts cost and final part quality and repeatability.

Design for color 3D printing

How to design for color 3D printing to enhance the value of a part and to get the maximum quality 3D printed output.

Designing for 3D textures

How to apply different types of textures that may increase the functionality, performance, and ultimately the value of a part.

Designing for post-processing

How to design parts to reduce post processing limitations and reduce lengthy post processing times while increasing part functionality and performance. 

Topology optimization

How part geometries can be optimized topologically in conjunction with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software to create parts with organic designs that provide stiffness and lightweight properties, without compromising mechanical performance. Optimizing topologically means optimizing material layout within a given design space.


Examines the theory behind lattice structures and metamaterials, looking at where and how to apply lightweight design elements, the tools available, and design possibilities. Metamaterials are materials that derive their mechanical properties from their structure and not from the material they are made of.

Part consolidation and assembly

Provides specific techniques and design features for functional printed assemblies, large parts assembled after printing, and applications that require post-printing assembly. 

Design for cost

Examines what drives part cost, how to reduce cost through part design, and offers key strategies, techniques, and tools for minimizing cost per part. 

Parts selection

Learn to select the best candidate parts and decide where you can apply key concepts learned in previous modules when selecting which parts to design for additive manufacturing.

HP DfAM training

HP also offers comprehensive DfAM courses so that you or your design or engineering team can accelerate your business’ additive manufacturing transformation and unlock the power of 3D printing for your organization.

Each modular course includes an introductory training and a more advanced training that offers the opportunity to become certified as a "Qualified designer for HP Multi Jet Fusion technology."

This qualification is ideal for designers and engineers working in additive manufacturing roles who are involved in the development of products that include plastics, and who want to demonstrate their specialized skill set in design for HP Multi Jet Fusion technology.

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Footnotes and disclaimers

  1. Data courtesy of EBK- Hungary Kft.