Mechanics of additively manufactured porous biomaterials based on the rhombicuboctahedron unit cell

R. Hedayati*, M. Sadighi, M. Mohammadi-Aghdam, A. A. Zadpoor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Thanks to recent developments in additive manufacturing techniques, it is now possible to fabricate porous biomaterials with arbitrarily complex micro-architectures. Micro-architectures of such biomaterials determine their physical and biological properties, meaning that one could potentially improve the performance of such biomaterials through rational design of micro-architecture. The relationship between the micro-architecture of porous biomaterials and their physical and biological properties has therefore received increasing attention recently. In this paper, we studied the mechanical properties of porous biomaterials made from a relatively unexplored unit cell, namely rhombicuboctahedron. We derived analytical relationships that relate the micro-architecture of such porous biomaterials, i.e. the dimensions of the rhombicuboctahedron unit cell, to their elastic modulus, Poisson's ratio, and yield stress. Finite element models were also developed to validate the analytical solutions. Analytical and numerical results were compared with experimental data from one of our recent studies. It was found that analytical solutions and numerical results show a very good agreement particularly for smaller values of apparent density. The elastic moduli predicted by analytical and numerical models were in very good agreement with experimental observations too. While in excellent agreement with each other, analytical and numerical models somewhat over-predicted the yield stress of the porous structures as compared to experimental data. As the ratio of the vertical struts to the inclined struts, α, approaches zero and infinity, the rhombicuboctahedron unit cell respectively approaches the octahedron (or truncated cube) and cube unit cells. For those limits, the analytical solutions presented here were found to approach the analytic solutions obtained for the octahedron, truncated cube, and cube unit cells, meaning that the presented solutions are generalizations of the analytical solutions obtained for several other types of porous biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-294
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Lattice structures
  • Mechanical properties, and predictive models
  • Porous scaffolds


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