Selective Laser Sintering of Diamond Lattice Structures: Experimental Results and FEA Model Comparison

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Conference Proceeding

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Nature utilizes multiple materials with varying properties to create high performance, integrated systems. In contrast, most additive manufacturing processes are limited to a small set of compatible materials to fabricate a device. However, the large geometric freedom of AM could be used to create the effect of multiple properties by creating lattice structures. Prior work has focused on using this concept to reduce weight in high stiffness structures. This paper will consider the use of a diamond lattice structures to create the effect of materials with a low elastic modulus materials. Low stiffness regions are advantageous for energy absorption, vibration isolation, and reduction of stress due to dimensional or temperature mismatches. The diamond lattice possesses Face-Centered-Cubic (FCC) elemental configuration possessing tetrahedral angles of 109° between elements. This allows for a pliable moment exerted on the structure yielding a flexible and energy absorbent arrangement. A range of devices was fabricated in Nylon 12 (PA 2200) through Laser Sintering (LS) process with variable element size (thickness) and unit cell size. The effective stiffness of the structures is compared as a function of these parameters and compared to numerical simulation. The results show the possibility of tuning the effective elastic modulus by over four orders of magnitude.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

2015 Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, p. 1104-1117