Cellular Structures for Optimal Performance

Engelbrecht, Sarah
Folgar, Luis
Rosen, David W.
Schulberger, Gary
Williams, Jim
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University of Texas at Austin

Cellular material structures, such as honeycombs and lattice structures, enable unprecedented stiffness and strength characteristics, for a given weight. New design and CAD technologies to construct cellular materials are presented in this paper. Such materials have very complex geometries, hence the need for additive manufacturing processes to produce them. A series of experiments was performed to build and test parts fabricated using Selective Laser Sintering. Variations in mechanical properties were quantified and related to processing conditions. Examples help illustrate the variety of applications of cellular materials in the aerospace, automotive, motorsports, energy, electronics, and related industries. A software tool is being developed to enable users to design and construct parts with cellular structures.