Utilizing Additive Manufacturing Techniques to Fabricate Weight Optimized Components Designed using Structural Optimization Methods

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Smith, C.J.
Todd, I.
Gilbert, M.

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University of Texas at Austin


This paper describes a preliminary study of the application of structural optimization techniques to the design of additively manufactured components, using load testing to failure to establish true load carrying capacity. The cantilever component specimens fabricated were designed to resist a tip load and comprised one conventional benchmark design and two designs developed using layout optimization (LO) techniques. The designs were fabricated from Titanium Ti-6Al-4V and then scanned for internal defects using X-Ray Computed Tomography (XCT). All three specimens failed below the design load during testing. Several issues were identified in both the design optimization and fabrication phases of the work, contributing to the premature failure of the specimens. Various recommendations to improve the optimization phase are presented in the paper.


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