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Infill microstructures for additive manufacturing

Ntintakis Ioannis, Stavroulakis Georgios

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Year 2022
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation I. Ntintakis and G. E. Stavroulakis, “Infill microstructures for additive manufacturing,” Appl. Sci., vol. 12, no. 15, July 2022, doi: 10.3390/app12157386.
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Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a well-known and rapidly advancing method, especially in the manufacturing of high-strength and lightweight microstructures. Utilizing AM, it is possible to fabricate any structure as complicated as it is. For an efficient and cost-effective printing, a critical parameter is the infill, which can be characterized from an easy 2D shape to high complexity. At the same time, Topology Optimization (TO) is an appropriate method to create high-strength and mass optimized microstructure lattices. In the current study, TO starts from a solid cubic volume of 15 × 15 mm, and different boundary conditions of two new cellular microstructures designed with 0.4 and 0.1 relative density are applied, respectively. The adopted TO method was Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization (SIMP), which predicts an optimal material distribution within a given design domain. TO methods do not check other characteristics of the structure, such as anisotropy. To evaluate and characterize the optimized microstructure, a general purpose homogenization method is utilized to calculate the Zener ratio and the elastic modulus. Using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), which is a material extrusion 3D printing method, lattice structure samples are fabricated and then tested in compression and tensile strength tests. The comparative results from the homogenization study showed that both microstructures have anisotropic behavior and an accepted response in the stress test similar to the homogenized material. The experimental results show that the mechanical behavior of the lattice structure changes significantly when the cell mapping angle differs.

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