Design for additive manufacturing: Automated build orientation selection and optimization

Marijn P. Zwier, Wessel W. Wits*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
467 Downloads (Pure)


Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is an emerging type of production technology that is seen as the core technology for future high-value engineered products. Due to the additive nature of stacking and unifying individual layers, the part and process design is substantially different from conventional production methods. This paper addresses one of the challenging design aspects for additive manufacturing, namely the determination of the build orientation. The build orientation has a large impact on the final part quality and must therefore be chosen wisely. This paper presents an approach to support the build orientation selection by a feature-based design algorithm. After automated part tessellation and the detection of outer part surfaces, the algorithm determines candidate build orientations through a ray-tracing and convex hull method. Candidate solutions are ranked based on minimizing overhang structures, as this also minimizes the need for additional support structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-133
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event5th CIRP Global Web Conference, CIRPe 2016: Research and Innovation for Future Production - University of Patras, Patras, Greece
Duration: 4 Oct 20166 Oct 2016
Conference number: 5 (Conference)


  • Design tools
  • Computer aided process planning
  • Additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing


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