Generative Design & Optimization for Additive Manufacturing Showcase

Explore the vast design space that AM offers and automatically generate and optimize customized designs that can be directly fabricated. This approach reduces the barriers to the implementation of additive technologies from a designer perspective.

Description

AM offers great capabilities to design more complex parts and products with higher performance. However, this is highly challenging for designers due to the vast design space of new possible geometries and the need to consider AM fabrication constraints. To address these challenges, generative design, i.e. the automated generation of CAD parts and assemblies, is integrated with automated FEA simulation and optimization to provide a tool for designers to automatically explore the design space...

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AM offers great capabilities to design more complex parts and products with higher performance. However, this is highly challenging for designers due to the vast design space of new possible geometries and the need to consider AM fabrication constraints. To address these challenges, generative design, i.e. the automated generation of CAD parts and assemblies, is integrated with automated FEA simulation and optimization to provide a tool for designers to automatically explore the design space AM offers and generate novel and optimized designs. Constraints for a particular AM process and machine type in the form of design rules are modeled so that the final designs are optimized within the confines of an AM process. This is a new form of topology optimization that is integrated within CAD, rather than FEA software, and compared to traditional FEA-based topology optimization, constraints can be directly modeled so that only feasible designs are generated rather than achieved through post-processing.

The software platform integrates a 3D spatial grammar interpreter for FreeCAD, an open-source CAD system based on the geometric modeling kernel OpenCascade and structural FEA in Nastran. Main features include:

  • Create design rules visually using standard CAD primitives and operations for automated shape generation using spatial grammars.
  • Include AM fabrication constraints as parametric relations in design rules to ensure direct fabrication of parts and assemblies.
  • Include design, e.g. aesthetic, constraints as parametric relations in design rules to ensure that optimized designs balance engineering performance with design.
  • Automated integration with FEA simulation.
  • Integrated global and stochastic optimization using simulated annealing to generate a range of alternative, optimized designs.
  • WYSIWYG 3D printing, i.e. direct AM fabrication without the need for post-processing topology and shape optimization results.

 

This showcase shows:

Process at customer

Major benefits achieved

Functional or component integration
More customized solution / access to larger product variety
Weight reduction

Field of innovation

Better products

Gallery

Customer

Internal Project

Customer position in the value chain

R&D + Organisations
Suppliers + Vendors
Processors + Service providers
Manufacturer (OEM)

Customer industry

Consumer Goods
Provider

Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory (EDAC), ETHZ

Supplier position in the value chain

R&D + Organisations
Suppliers + Vendors
Processors + Service providers
Manufacturer (OEM)
Technologies and materials
See this showcase

Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory (EDAC), ETHZ will display this showcase at the following exhibition:

AM Expo 2016
20. and 21. September 2016, Messe Luzern, Switzerland
Halle 02 / Booth Partnerzone