Design of truss-like cellular structures using density information from topology optimization

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Alzahrani, Mahmoud Ali
Choi, Seung-Kyum
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The advances in additive manufacturing removed most of the limitations that were once stopping designers when it comes to the manufacturability of the design. It allowed designers to produce parts with high geometric complexity such as cellular structures. These structures are known for their high strength relative to their low mass, good energy absorption, and high thermal and acoustic insulation compared to their relative solid counter-parts. Lattice structures, a type of cellular structures, have received considerable attention due to their properties when producing light-weight with high strength parts. The design of these structures can pose a challenge to designers due to the sheer number of variables that are present. Traditional optimization approaches become an infeasible approach for designing them, which motivated researchers to search for other alternative approaches. In this research, a new method is proposed by utilizing the material density information obtained from the topology optimization of continuum structures. The efficacy of the developed method will be compared to existing methods, such as the Size Matching and Scaling (SMS) method that combines solid-body analysis and a predefined unit-cell library. The proposed method shows good potential in structures that are subjected to multiple loading conditions compared to SMS, which would be advantageous in creating reliable structures. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method to practical engineering applications, the design problem of a commercial elevator sling will be considered.
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