Application of Systems Engineering to Lattice Structure Design: A Framework for Requirements Flow Down
In the field of additive manufacturing, highly ordered cellular structures with repeating patterns in space, known as lattice structures or simply “lattices”, have been shown to sig- nificantly improve the performance per unit mass of engineered components compared to traditionally machined designs. The characteristics of these lattices are dependent on many design decisions, leading to challenges in determining how to best utilize them. This issue is further complicated when the density, size, and topology of the lattice can spatially vary in the design domain. Many methods have been proposed to optimally distribute material within a lattice structure; however, these methods exist in a bubble, independent of broader engineering design criteria and processes. In this paper, we introduce a framework based on systems engineering to guide the design of lattice structures using the component requirements as inputs and outputting a verified and validated design based on those requirements. The framework translates component requirements down to the lattice structure and provides a means to verify and validate that the final design meets those requirements. We provide a walk-through of the framework by designing a lattice structure for an oil and gas component, and discuss future research to extend, verify, and validate the framework.