Design for Additively Manufactured Lightweight Structure: A Perspective

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Yang, L.
Harrysson, O.L.A.
Cormier, D.
West, H.
Zhang, S.
Gong, H.
Stucker, B.

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University of Texas at Austin


The design of lightweight structures realized via additive manufacturing has been drawing considerable amount of attentions in academia and industries for a wide range of applications. However, various challenges remain for AM lightweight structures to be reliably used for these applications. For example, despite extensive advancement with geometric design, there still lacks adequate understanding with the process-material property relationship of AM lightweight structures. In addition, a more integrated design approach must also be adopted in order to take non-uniform material design into consideration. In our works, a design approach based on unit cell cellular structure was taken in the attempt to establish a comprehensive design methodology for lightweight structures. Analytical cellular models were established to provide computationally efficient property estimation, and various design factors such as size effect, stress concentration and joint angle effect were also investigated in order to provide additional design guidelines. In addition, it was also found that the geometry and microstructure of the cellular structures are dependent on both the process setup and the feature dimensions, which strongly support the argument to establish a multi-scale hierarchical cellular design tool.


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