Optimal Truss-Type Supports for Minimal Part Distortion in LPBF




Subedi, Subodh C.
Thoma, Dan J.
Suresh, Krishnan

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Efficient transfer of heat to the build plate is important for part printability in laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). Support structures provide pathways for heat dissipation from the melt pool to the build plate. Truss-type supports have been proposed for better thermal management in LPBF since they are easy to analyze, optimize and post-process. In this paper, we consider thermo-elastic LBPF simulations, where a part and corresponding truss- type support are progressively coupled during the build process. Transient thermal FEA is performed as each layer is built to obtain temperature profiles. Thermal and structural equivalent static loads are obtained from the transient results, which are accumulated to compute aggregate structural equivalent static loads (ASESL). Structural deformation of coupled systems involving part and truss-type supports is also computed after each layer- wise built. Finally, cross-sectional areas of truss-type supports are optimized using ASESL to minimize structural deformation. Optimized supports show a significant reduction in part deformation compared to un-optimized supports. Numerical results are presented to demonstrate the merits of the proposed method.



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