Evaluating Innovative CAD Techniques in the Creation of Conformal Cellular Structures

  • Shwe SoeEmail author
  • Wassim Jabi
  • Peter Theobald
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 52)


This paper focusses on demonstrating the effectiveness of our new code at producing curved, formerly planar structures that comprise complex internal architecture. This development is particularly significant as it will, ultimately, allow further exploitation of the design freedom offered by additive manufacturing (AM). This particular application focusses on head impact protection, and builds upon our previous work describing the promising mechanical performance that can be achieved by parametrically varying cellular shape, wall thicknesses and relative densities (Soe in Second international conference on sustainable design and manufacturing, 2015 [1]). In this current work, we explore the translation of these design concepts into application-based environments, focusing particularly on achieving structural contours whilst retaining mechanical performance. This paper aims to demonstrate our success at contouring previously-planar structures around hemispherical (‘head’) geometry, whilst retaining mechanical performance through the relative alignment of individual cellular structures. We first evaluate the capabilities of existing packages: (1) PTC Creo Parametric (mechanical CAD system) and, (2) Materialise 3-maticSTL (lightweight structures module); before demonstrating the effectiveness of our new script embedded within Autodesk 3D Studio Max. We conclude by comparing results from our script with equivalent data from the commercially-available software.


Additive manufacturing Conformal geometries Cellular structures Design for manufacture Personal protective equipment 


  1. 1.
    Soe, S., Ryan, M., McShane, G., Theobald, P.: Energy absorption characteristics of additively manufactured TPE cellular structures. In: Second International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Soe, S., Martindale, N., Constantinou, C., Robinson, M.: Mechanical characterisation of Duraform® Flex for FEA hyperelastic material modelling. Polym. Testing 34, 103–112 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cui, L., Kiernan, S., Gilchrist, M.D.: Designing the energy absorption capacity of functionally graded foam materials. Mater. Sci. Eng. A 507(1), 215–225 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gibson, L.J., Michael F.A.: Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1997)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    BS EN 1078:2012+A1:2012: Helmets for Pedal Cyclists and for Users of Skateboards and Roller Skates. British Standards Institution (BSI), London (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    ASTM F1492-15: Standard Specification for Helmets Used in Recreational Bicycling or Roller Skating. ASTM International, West Conshohocken (2015)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    BS EN 14572:2005: High Performance Helmets for Equestrian Activities. British Standards Institution (BSI), London (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    PAS 015:2011: Helmets for Equestrian Use. British Standards Institution (BSI), London (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Engelbrecht, S., Folgar, L., Rosen, D.W., Schulberger, G., Williams, J.: Cellular structures for optimal performance. In: Proceedings of SFF Symposium, Austin, pp. 831–842 (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yan, C., Hao, L., Hussein, A., Young, P., Raymont, D.: Advanced lightweight 316L stainless steel cellular lattice structures fabricated via selective laser melting. Mater. Des. 55, 533–541 (2014)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Parthasarathy, J., Starly, B., Raman, S.: A design for the additive manufacture of functionally graded porous structures with tailored mechanical properties for biomedical applications. J. Manuf. Proces. 13, 160–170 (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brennan-Craddock, J., Brackett, D., Wildman, R., Hague, R.: The design of impact absorbing structures for additive manufacture. In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 382, no. 1, p. 012042. IOP Publishing (2012, August)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.School of ArchitectureCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Cardiff School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

Personalised recommendations