Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Additive manufacturing lends itself to some unique capabilities that many traditional manufacturing methods cannot replicate, one being the intricate geometries of lattice structures. Lattice structures are loosely defined as a network of nodes and beams that make up a 2D or 3D structure.
Lattice structures in 3D printing and design can dramatically:
Reduce part weight and production time
Optimize material usage and dead space
Retain structural integrity and part strength
Undergo more stresses and strains
Lattice structures are a key component when designing for 3D printing, and can be achieved with ease via a CAD process known as Generative Design. This process allows users to input certain constraints to their part, i.e. point loads, moments and geometric constraints. The program then creates a variety of potential designs to achieve part effectiveness while utilizing the benefits of lattice structures.
[COOL USE CASE] NASA is researching and developing on the power of lattice structures.
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies (PADT) recently received $755,000 in funding to design, test and develop lattice structures for aerospace vehicles.