CAD TOOLS AND FILE FORMAT PERFORMANCE EVALUATION IN DESIGNING LATTICE STRUCTURES FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

Abdul Hadi Azman, Frédéric Vignat, François Villeneuve

Abstract


Additive manufacturing has opened the door to the creation of lightweight lattice structures. However, present Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software are unsuitable for these types of structures. The objective of this research is to examine the performances of current CAD and CAE software to design lattice structures and to demonstrate their limitations and propose requirements for future developments. A performance evaluation of a case study for lattice structure designs was conducted. The criteria used for the evaluation were CAD human-machine-interface, RAM consumption, data exchange between CAD, CAE and CAM tools and finite element analysis (FEA) duration and file sizes. The CAD tool was incapable of executing a repetition function for octet-truss lattice structures of 150 x 150 x 150 mm dimensions or larger and the software stopped working. For 70 × 70 × 70 mm octet-truss lattice structure, the FEA computation file size reached 36.6 GB. The CAD file size of a 200 x 200 x 200 mm octet-truss lattice structure reached nearly 290 MB. In conclusion, this study exposes the performance inadequacy of current CAD and CAE tools and CAD file formats to design lattice structures for additive manufacturing parts.


Keywords


Lattice structures, additive manufacturing, computer-aided design, lightweight structures, mechanical engineering design

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