Using additive manufacturing in optimisation and design

What is Additive Manufacturing and why should it be used?

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Additive Manufacturing is a term used for technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer onto layer of material. It includes methods such as 3D printing, rapid prototyping, direct digital marketing and layered manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing can be used to produce designs which would otherwise not be possible using more traditional methods.

One of the most significant advancements of
Additive Manufacturing is the increased
availability to commercially viable machines.
The advancement and popularity of 3D
printing has opened up a host of options for
being able to design and manufacture parts
which are more complicated than previous
methods were able to produce.

One example of a method which is being
used increasingly more often is the use of
internal architectures, these could not
previously be manufactured using
traditional methods. However with the
increased use of additive manufacturing
machines, which build a part layer by
layer, lattice structures are now accesible.

bike fork TFSW

Methods for developing optimal internal lattice structures have been available in commercial codes for over a decade, in products such as VR&D GENESIS. These methods have continued to develop with GRM developing add-ins to popular design tools to make Topology Optimisation more accessible to the everyday designer in SolidWorks (TruForm SW), Abaqus (TruForm) and ANSYS (GTAM/GSAM). However, these lattice designs have only been manufactural more recently with the ability to produce more complicated designs.

Examples of creating parts using additive manufacturing and topology optimisation include a bike fork end for a British Super Bike, and an airplane bearing bracket and a gas turbine blade which can be found below.


Case Studies
Superbike fork end with the MTC,
using TruForm SW presented at OED2016 
Video: Optimisation of a jet engine bracket using TruForm SW  VIDEO
Discussion: Making the connection between optimisation and additive manufacturing  LATTICE STRUCTURES




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