Using additive manufacturing techniques in optical engineering to construct a gradient index (GRIN) optic may overcome a number of limitations of GRIN technology. Such techniques are maturing quickly, yielding additional design degrees of freedom for the engineer. How best to employ these degrees of freedom is not completely clear at this time. This paper describes a preliminary design philosophy, including assumptions, pertaining to a particular printing technique for GRIN optics. It includes an analysis based on simulation and initial component measurement.