Conformal Lattice Structure Design and Fabrication

Nguyen, Jason
Park, Sang-In
Rosen, David W.
Folgar, Luis
Williams, James
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University of Texas at Austin

One application of additive manufacturing is for fabrication of customized, light-weight material called Conformal Lattice Structures (CLS), a type of cellular structure with dimensions of 0.1 to 10 mm. In this paper, two advances are reported for designing CLS. First, computer-aided design technologies were developed for efficiently generating and representing CLS, given selected part model surfaces. Second, a method is presented for efficiently optimizing CLS by utilizing a heuristic that reduces the multivariate optimization problem to a problem of only two variables. The heuristic is: stress distributions are similar in CLS and in a solid body of the same shape. Software will be presented that embodies this process and is integrated into a commercial CAD system. In this paper, the method is applied to design strong, stiff, and light-weight Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) components.