Controlling local overheating in topology optimization for Additive Manufacturing

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Additive Manufacturing (AM) enables fabrication of geometrically complex designs and hence offers increased freedom for designers. It has been recognized that topology optimization can serve as an ideal design tool in order to fully exploit the advantages offered by AM. However, AM processes have specific limitations which should be taken into account at the design optimization stage in order to minimize manual design adaptations and post processing cost. One such major constraint is local overheating during processing. It is evident that excessive local heating can cause defects such as melt ball formation which subsequently leads to poor surface finish and undesired mechanical properties. This paper presents a simplified thermal model inspired by the physics of additive processes and detects zones of local heat concentration i.e. `hotspots' in a geometry. Although the model emulates the boundary conditions of an AM layer and predicts the temperature field, it is not a detailed process simulation. Instead, a dedicated computationally inexpensive thermal analysis has been preferred here as it proves to be able to identify regions which are prone to overheating. The model is thus referred to as ‘hotspot detector’. A mathematical formulation is developed in order to integrate the ‘hotspot detector’ model with the density based topology optimization using adjoint sensitivity calculation method. The new method is tested and demonstrated on several numerical examples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Special Interest Group Meeting
Subtitle of host publicationDimensional Accuracy and Surface Finish in Additive Manufacturing
EditorsW. Dewulf
Place of PublicationCranfield, UK
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)978-0995775114
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSpecial Interest Group Meeting: Dimensional Accuracy and Surface Finish in Additive Manufacturing - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 10 Oct 201712 Oct 2017


ConferenceSpecial Interest Group Meeting


  • Topology Optimization
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Design for Additive Manyfacturing (DFAM)

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