Lattice Structure Optimization With Orientation-Dependent Material Properties

Advances in additive manufacturing (AM) techniques have enabled the production of parts with complex internal geometries. However, the layer-based nature of additive processes often results in mechanical properties that vary based on the orientation of the feature relative to the build plane. Lattice structures have been a popular design application for additive manufacturing due to their potential uses in lightweight structural applications. Many recent works have explored the modeling, design, and fabrication challenges that arise in the multiscale setting of lattice structures. However, there remains a significant challenge in bridging the simplified computational models used in the design process and the more complex properties actually realized in fabrication. This study develops a design approach that captures orientation-dependent material properties that have been observed in metal AM processes, while remaining suitable for use in an iterative design process. Exemplar problems are utilized to investigate the potential design changes and performance improvements that can be attained by taking the directional dependence of the manufacturing process into account in the design of lattice structures.

Source: Journal of Mechanical Design