CDFAM Symposium: Dedicated to Exploring Computational Design and Additive Manufacturing


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CDFAM, a two-day symposium scheduled for June 14-15, 2023, promises to bring together leaders in the fields of Computational Design and Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) at the Newlab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City. The event will serve as a platform to explore and discuss current, leading, and emerging trends and practices in computational design, engineering, advanced manufacturing (and AI).

Why Now? AM’s Decade of Maturation

Over the past ten years, additive manufacturing (AM) has matured significantly, with machines, materials, and software witnessing dramatic improvements in performance, speed and reliability, thanks to the efforts of PhDs and engineers around the world, as well as millions of dollars of R&D investment. This growth has enabled the use of AM technologies for end-use and serial production, making it a competitive augmentation and extension of traditional manufacturing methods. But only if the designs are optimized for the process.

Design for Additive Manufacturing: The Key to Unlocking Economic Benefits

To make economic sense of AM and unleash any true ‘potential’, it is crucial to adopt a DfAM approach. This approach requires designers to not only adhere to design constraints inherent in the manufacturing process, but also redesign and reimagine products to realize the unique performance gains that can only be achieved through AM.

While ‘improving’ an existing design for AM manufacturability may make an application “viable,” it is not until we truly design for the process from a blank canvas of first principles that we can realize the performance gains that make AM outperform both economically and in application. Computational design enables us to accelerate and amplify these performance gains.

The Role of Software Tools and Education

Although software tools have made great strides over the past five years, there is still a need for greater education on how to design with and for these systems. Engineers and designers must learn how to think about and utilize tools such as topology optimization, generative design, graded lattice structures, and meta-materials. Furthermore, they must understand how to design not only singular, static objects, but systems of creation, especially for mass customization and personalization particularly in medical and medical adjacent fields.

CDFAM: Computationally Advancing DfAM

The CDFAM symposium aims to bring together leading engineers, academics, and software developers for two days of presentations and networking to help advance beyond the ‘mechanics’ of design for additive manufacturing, and to help reset the way we approach design with computational tools.

The symposium will feature an eclectic mix of experts from organizations as diverse as NASA to New Balance, as well as academics from renowned research institutions such as ORNL, Penn State, NYU and Harvard. Representatives from innovative software startups, including Metafold, nTopology, Lexset and Cognitive Design Systems will be presenting the latest developments along with established CAD companies such as Altair, Siemens and Autodesk, and level set some of the hype (and misinformation) around AI in engineering with the latest developments in academia and engineering practice.

The event will kick off with a keynote presentation by Onur Yuce Gun of New Balance with ‘Design Computation Human’, and each day will close out with Ronald Rael on his experiments with ‘Muddy Robots’ and Neil Gershenfeld of MIT on the ‘Road Map to Replicators’.


CDFAM offers a unique opportunity for professionals and academics in the fields of computational design, engineering, and advanced manufacturing to share knowledge, discuss challenges, and collaborate on the future of Design for Additive Manufacturing. The event promises to be an insightful and educational experience for those interested in advancing design for advanced manufacturing.

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