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Towards Multiscale Topology Optimization for Additively Manufactured Components Using Implicit Slicing

[+] Author Affiliations
John C. Steuben, Athanasios P. Iliopoulos, John G. Michopoulos

Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC

Paper No. DETC2017-67596, pp. V001T02A024; 11 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 37th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5811-0


Additive Manufacturing (AM) encompasses a set of fabrication technologies that are being used with increasing frequency in a wide variety of scientific and industrial pursuits. These technologies, which operate by successive additions of material to a domain, enable the manufacture of highly complex geometries that would otherwise be unrealizable. However, the material micro and meso-structures generated by AM processes differ remarkably from those that arise from conventional techniques and occasionally introduce unwanted functional features; this has been an obstacle to the use of AM in some applications. In the present work, we propose a multiscale method that utilizes the unique meso-scale structuring capabilities of implicit slicers for AM, in conjunction with existing topology optimization tools for the macro-scale, in order to generate functional components. The use of this method is demonstrated on the example of a hand tool. We discuss the applications of this methodology, its current limitations, and the future work required to enable its widespread use.



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