Additive Manufacturing (AM, also known as 3D printing) technologies are nowadays continuously evolving in terms of processable materials, resolution, printing volumes and quality. This evolution is extending design boundaries; it is also pushing the development of cutting-edge and high-added value ideas in a wide range of fields, from biomedical to architecture, from aerospace to product design and computer graphics.  Designers have now the possibility to explore and develop tailored and advanced solutions by exploiting the potentialities of these technologies at the design level. Functional integration, multi-material printing, local and multi-scale tuning of properties, organic shapes are only a few of the design opportunities nowadays available. However, the proper exploitation of such a wide range of opportunities is calling for a new mindset which is strongly multidisciplinary and capable of mastering interlinked requirements. The innovativeness of a 3D-printed solution relies on the ability to successfully reach the optimum among materials properties, digital modelling and the control of the manufacturing process. The building of in-depth and multidisciplinary knowledge on all these aspects is fundamental but not sufficient. It is only through the proper development and implementation of design methods, tools and processes that ideas can be transformed into innovative 3D-printed products.

Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) means creating the appropriate design mindset for exploiting the maximum potentialities of AM technologies. This exploitation should occur in every phase of the process, from the idea generation to the post-processing step. Computational and algorithm-based design strategies are essential to the creation of such a mindset; they help designers to master the potential of AM technologies both at the design and fabrication level. Successful implementation of these strategies will stimulate the exploration of the design space, model complex and multidisciplinary phenomena, and to enable the advanced control of the fabrication process.

This IDEA LEAGUE summer school aims to train students and young researchers on exploring and applying, through dedicated team working activities, the potential of computational-based strategies in Design for AM.

This summer school would be the most comprehensive program on this topic. It is jointly organized by established researchers in this field from Politecnico di Milano, ETH Zurich and Penn State University (US), and TU Delft. This summer school is promoted by the Design for Additive Manufacturing Special Interest Group (DfAM SIG) of the Design Society. Hence, this summer school will also represent a relevant networking opportunity for the involved universities.