FE-Optimization and Data Handling for Additive Manufacturing of Structural Parts
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Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers high potential due to its freedom of design for structural parts. Especially in combination with FE-based topology optimization an optimal use of material and thus significant weight reductions can be expected. However, the application of AM is hampered by different additional manufacturing processes along the entire production chain and data handling induced restrictions. Disadvantages emerge from a lack of adjustment of the entire design process for AM. First the optimization algorithms are not targeted to the opportunities and restrictions of AM – represented by design rules – like the design of support structures. Secondly, the CAD software is not adjusted to AM in particular. Creating freeform shaped surfaces based on the optimization results is significantly less convenient than building defined blocks or turning parts following the needs of conventional machining. The indispensable subsequent interpretation of optimization results regarding the design rules and the possibilities of CAD-tools counteracts optimal results. This paper considers different approaches for a Topology Optimization (TO)-shape regaining on different sample parts including telecommunication satellite parts. An innovative design methodology is presented getting crucial for creating high quality designs.