Design of non-assembly mechanisms: A state-of-the-art review

Kirsten Lussenburg*, Aimée Sakes, Paul Breedveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing has enabled the production of increasingly complex parts that are difficult to produce with conventional manufacturing methods. Its additive nature has made it possible to create interlocking parts in a single production step. This creates opportunities for new ways of designing and producing mechanisms, which do not need to be assembled after production, called non-assembly mechanisms. Non-assembly mechanisms are different from traditional mechanisms, since they show an unprecedented integration between geometry, material and structure. In this review, by means of a systematic literature search the current state-of-the-art of non-assembly mechanisms is reviewed and analyzed based on the challenges encountered in their design and production. The found examples were categorized according to types of mechanism that have similar production considerations. Per category is discussed what the challenges and opportunities are for the design of non-assembly mechanisms. This review aims to provide a helpful overview of best-practice examples that can be used as inspiration for further development of innovative non-assembly mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101846
Number of pages14
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Design
  • Non-assembly mechanisms
  • Review


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