Progress in Additive Manufacturing

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 143–154 | Cite as

Finite element modeling of 3D-printed part with cellular internal structure using homogenized properties

  • Sunil BhandariEmail author
  • Roberto Lopez-Anido
Full Research Article


The purpose of this research is to create a homogenized linearly elastic continuum finite element model of a 3D-printed cellular structure. This article attempts to answer the following research question: can the homogenization technique based on using virtual experiments, commonly employed in micromechanics solid modeling, be used for homogenization of 3D-printed cellular structure to generate orthotropic material properties? Virtual experiments were carried out for homogenization of cellular structure. These virtual experiments generated homogenized material properties for the continuum finite element model. Physical experimentation was carried out to validate the accuracy of results obtained from the continuum finite element model. Results show that the outlined procedure can be used to generate a fast, yet reasonably accurate, continuum finite element model for predicting the linearly elastic structural response of 3D-printed cellular structure. This study extends the micromechanics homogenization approach to homogenize the 3D-printed partial infill cellular structure to create input material properties for a continuum finite element model. The outlined procedure would enable faster iterative design of 3D-printed cellular parts. The continuum model generated is valid only for a linearly elastic structural response. This framework, however, has potential for extending the analysis to the inelastic range.


3D printing Fused deposition modeling Partial infill Lattice structure Homogenization Finite element analysis 



This research was made possible in part by a Grant from NIST Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) program, titled “Consortium for Manufacturing Innovation in Structural Thermoplastics (CMIST), Award no. 70NANB15 H075”. The research was also supported in part by the Correll Fellowship (2014–2015) awarded by the College of Engineering, the Graduate Trustee Tuition Scholarship (2015–2016) awarded by the Graduate School, and the Malcolm G. Long’32 Professorship in Civil Engineering at the University of Maine.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Structures and Composites CenterUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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