Structural Optimization and Laser Additive Manufacturing in lightweight design: barriers and chances

With resource prices rising and becoming more and more volatile, lightweight design is getting more important than ever before. Against this background structural optimization tools saw an increased usage in the recent years. However, load optimized components often result in falling lot sizes, highly complex parts and the demand for reduced production times with lower raw material charges. Thus, manufacturing by conventional processes becomes increasingly cost-intensive.  A possible process to cope with these challenges is Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) as it facilitates tool less manufacturing of highly complex geometries. The theoretical potential for lightweight design of highly load adapted structures is apparent. However its exploitation is currently hindered by a lack of sufficiently explored design guidelines as well as process specific design methods. A novel and LAM focused approach to lightweight design is realized by incorporating structural optimization tools, a searchfield analysis for bionic structures and newly developed LAM and lightweight design specific guidelines into one design process.  Already carried out and successfully tested studies as well as their economic benefit will be shown.


The Author

Dipl.-Ing. Jannis Kranz
TUHH Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
iLAS Institut für Laser- und Anlagensystemtechnik