Influence of material and structure on the mechanics of 3D printed cellular lattices



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3D Printing technology also sometimes referred as additive manufacturing (AM) is a fast-emerging technology worldwide. It is increasingly being used for mass production and customization in the fields of healthcare, automobile industries, aviation industries, etc. Due to their high mechanical efficiency, cellular lattices are the commonly fabricated structures using additive manufacturing technologies. However, optimization and predicting the mechanical response of lattices is difficult, if not impossible as it depends on various factors like fabrication process, material, structure and loading conditions. Here we investigate the influence of material and structural configuration on the mechanical response of 3D printed cellular lattices. For this purpose, 5 samples each of 4 designs of square and hexagonal cellular lattices were printed and tested with design ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 relative density and 400 microns beam thickness being constant for all samples. These lattices were printed using two different materials, Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) which brings the total to 80 samples being fabricated and tested for this work. The data obtained from the tests was further used to determine yield stress, elastic modulus and ultimate strength using a python script. Fabrication accuracies were examined using a digital microscope and modes of failure of all lattices under similar loading conditions were also observed. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the fabrication process employed in this work. Results obtained demonstrate trends for variation in material and structural configuration which are further used for the purpose of comparison and to examine the influence of those variations on the mechanics of 3D printed cellular lattices.



3D Printing, Cellular Lattices