Holoch Holoch

Research Area Design - Associated Project

Development of a process-specific topology optimization method for the additive manufacturing of lightweight design structures using the SLM process
Advisor: Albers (IPEK), Behdinan (UToronto), Johrendt (UoW)

In industrial product development, the importance of design flexibility, individualization and load-compliant design of component geometry is steadily increasing. A high degree of design flexibility and individualization can be achieved by manufacturing processes for the production of near-net-shape geometries such as selective laser melting (SLM). The load-compliant design of the component geometry can be accomplished through a topology optimization. Within the SLM, powder layers are applied incrementally and melted locally by a laser in order to build up a component layer by layer. This layerwise buildup allows a high design flexibility and individualization but also has the effect that structural defects in the volume are facilitated. These structural defects and the resulting microstructural anisotropy have a decisive influence on the component quality. In order to achieve a load-compliant design of the component geometry, a topology optimization can be used which typically uses isotropic, homogeneous material models that require corresponding material properties in the component. However, for additively manufactured components by the SLM, these material properties are anisotropic and inhomogeneously distributed across the component. Therefore, the simulation of the SLM has high potential to take the anisotropic and locally varying material properties into account in order to support the design synthesis in product development. For this reason the aim of this project is to develop a topology optimization method that considers anisotropic and inhomogeneous material properties in order to obtain a component geometry that is optimally adapted to the additive manufacturing process. The goal of the optimization is to maximize the component stiffness while taking strength restrictions into account, enabling further lightweight design potential in the area of additive manufacturing technology and the realization of high-quality components.