Additive manufacturing integration with topology optimization methodology for innovative product design

  • Teresa Primo
  • Maurizio Calabrese
  • Antonio Del Prete
  • Alfredo Anglani


Additive manufacturing (AM) processes enable the production of functional parts with complex geometries, multi-materials, as well as individualized mass production. Another significant benefit of AM is the ability to produce optimized geometries with near perfect strength to weight ratios. Weight plays a crucial role in many functional parts such as parts used in automotive and aeronautic industries. Current topology optimization techniques, a powerful tool for weight reduction and product optimization in general, do not work well for such kind of process since AM methods necessitate applying own dedicated design rules. This paper reports a product/process optimization study of a simple test case geometry (C-Clip), where structural optimization has been applied using an innovative approach based on the design of lattice structure feasible thanks to additive process adoption. Moreover, it has been conducted a study to evaluate the possible advantages offered by the integration of the two previous approaches in order to verify the required design specifications. The aim of the work has been to evaluate the potentiality offered by the integration of the two structural optimization approaches (topological and lattice structures design) to obtain innovative and highly performing structures. This activity represents a necessary step for the definition and the subsequent development of a methodology aimed to the creation of structures obtained with this combined design approach. In order to define an objective evaluation of the component performances, appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPI) have been developed. An engineering intelligence tool has been used to post process the generated optimization results for the three different approaches. Finally, the first three “best” structural solutions have been manufactured by 3D printing machine, with scaled dimensions, in order to evaluate the printing time considering the geometry complexity for the chosen structural layout in order to have useful feedbacks on Product/Process choices interaction.


Additive manufacturing Topology optimization Key performance indicators Lattice approach Hybrid approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Primo
    • 1
  • Maurizio Calabrese
    • 1
  • Antonio Del Prete
    • 1
  • Alfredo Anglani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering InnovationUniversità del SalentoLecceItaly

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