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Tool Time: Design for Additive Manufacturing & Material Optimization


Milwaukee Tool is an industry-leading manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, hand tools, and accessories for professional users worldwide. Traditional manufacturing processes utilized in this industry are constrained by specific materials and material removal-based manufacturing. Advancements in additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities offer innovative opportunities to optimize part designs and improve performance.

The design team was tasked with redesigning and optimizing existing MT hand tools and accessories specifically for AM. The team’s goals for part redesigns included but are not limited to weight reduction, component count reduction, material optimization, and performance improvements. The team selected six different parts for AM design: a hammer, right angle drill adapter, step drill bit, PEX tubing cutter, pipe reaming pen, and utility knife.

Through an iterative design process, the team utilized computer-aided design software to develop new design elements unique to AM such as compliant mechanisms, topology optimization, and latticing. These features coupled with new material options, including printed composites and metals, unlock new opportunities for design and manufacturing within the industry.

Team Members

  • Forrest Getz

  • Devin Aragon

  • Trevor Gill

  • Nick Wilkins

The Client

  • Milwaukee Tool


Project Advisors: Dr. Kristy Csavina, Dr. Garrison Hommer, Dr. Craig Brice, Mitchell Keeler, Jonathan Winter, Bryson Wilcox, and Zachary Bernaden

Donations Made by: Milwaukee Tool