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3D topology optimization for cost and time minimization in additive manufacturing

Abstract

As the frontier of modern-day engineering challenges pushes forward, the integration of multiple strategies to reduce manufacturing cost and increase component performance has engineers turning to tools such as topology optimization (TO) and additive manufacturing (AM). Recent focus on these topics has led to the bridging of the gap between these two tools and the making of their integration in the conventional design cycle as seamless as possible. This paper expands upon existing mathematical constructs by providing an algorithm to minimize the cost and time associated with additively manufactured parts within a three-dimensional topology optimization framework. The formulation has been constructed in such a manner to accommodate large-scale topology optimization problems, including a filtering scheme requiring minimal storage of additional mesh information and an iterative finite element analysis solver. A rigorous trade-off analysis is conducted to determine the optimal contribution of additive manufacturing factors to minimize build time. A perimeter method-inspired approach for optimization of the surface area is explored, suggesting benefits for AM-specific process mechanics. Multiple academic example problems included in this work illustrate the applicability of this approach to three-dimensional geometries; physical models of these example problems created via fused filament fabrication serve to validate the numerical results obtained herein.

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Funding

This research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

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Correspondence to Il Yong Kim.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Cite this article

Sabiston, G., Kim, I.Y. 3D topology optimization for cost and time minimization in additive manufacturing. Struct Multidisc Optim 61, 731–748 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00158-019-02392-7

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Keywords

  • Topology optimization
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Support material
  • Surface area
  • Helmholtz PDE
  • Manufacturing constraint