Combined optimization of part topology, support structure layout and build orientation for additive manufacturing

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Abstract

Additive manufacturing (AM) enables the fabrication of parts of unprecedented complexity. Dedicated topology optimization approaches, that account for specific AM restrictions, are instrumental in fully exploiting this capability. In popular powder-bed-based AM processes, the critical overhang angle of downward facing surfaces limits printability of parts. This can be addressed by changing build orientation, part adaptation, or addition of sacrificial support structures. Thus far, each of these measures have been studied separately and applied sequentially, which leads to suboptimal solutions or excessive computation cost. This paper presents and studies, based on 2D test problems, an approach enabling simultaneous optimization of part geometry, support layout and build orientation. This allows designers to find a rational tradeoff between manufacturing cost and part performance. The relative computational cost of the approach is modest, and in numerical tests it consistently obtains high quality solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1985-2004
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Volume57
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Build orientation
  • Design for manufacturing
  • Overhang angle
  • Printing direction
  • Support structures
  • Topology optimization

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