Additive Manufacturing (AM) represents a maturing collection of production technologies also known as rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing and three-dimensional printing. One of the most promising aspects of AM is the possibility to create highly complex geometries. Despite a growing body of knowledge concerning the technological challenges, there is a lack of methods that allow designers to effectively deal with the new possibilities. This article presents a literature survey on the impact that AM can have on design. The survey was focused on the new opportunities of fabrication processes, the relationship between structure and performance, and optimization approaches. We applied Olsen’s three-link chain model to relate product structure with performance, linked by strength, stiffness, compliance, dynamic, thermal, and visual properties. We also use this model to base our proposed Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) method. The findings show that there is a growing body of knowledge in the field of design for AM (DfAM), yet only considers a subset of properties. Furthermore, the knowledge on materials, computational optimization, computer aided design, and behavioral simulation embody separated domains and related software support. This is in contrast with design engineering, which requires a holistic approach to conceptualize new products.

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