Lightweight lattice structures have broad application prospects in the fields of load bearing, energy absorption, heat insulation, and shock isolation. The use of 3D printing to manufacture lattice structures has the characteristics of high efficiency and flexibility, and has also become an important application in the field of 3D printing. However, the current integrated printed lattice structure has the problems of anisotropy and support material removal. The former makes the mechanical properties of the 3D printed lattice structure far less than the theoretical value, and the latter increases the time and cost of post-processing.
Space manufacturing large lattice structure
Recently, the thermal structure coupling mechanics research group of the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences introduced the interlocking assembly method into the 3D printing technology for the first time to prepare the lattice structure, that is, through the “dimensionality reduction” of the three-dimensional lattice structure, it is converted into a two-dimensional rod structure printing , And then use the interlocking assembly method to assemble the two-dimensional rods into a three-dimensional lattice structure. Researchers used FDM and PolyJet processes to verify the results, and achieved amazing results.
The researchers used this method to prepare a BCC configuration lattice structure for the 3D printing technology of Fused Deposition Molding (FDM), which achieved the optimal distribution of fibers in the rod structure, compared to the integrated printed lattice structure The strength has increased by 37.6%-65.3%, the compressive modulus has increased by 11.4%–39.6%, and the energy absorption capacity has increased by 67%–270%.
In addition to the improvement of mechanical properties, this method also achieves better surface quality, and the surface roughness of the lattice structure is lower. The researchers also successfully predicted the peak strength and compression modulus of the interlocking lattice structure and the integral printing lattice structure within a certain range.
The dot matrix structure printed with Polyjet technology also achieves the improvement of mechanical properties. Compared with the structure of integrated printing, the compression strength is increased by more than 100%, and the energy absorption capacity is increased by 72%~186%. Since the printing process does not require the assistance of supporting materials, printing time and printing consumables are reduced by more than 80%.
Since the bars of the lattice structure are all printed along the unsupported or optimal direction, the overall mechanical properties of the assembled lattice structure are improved. The researchers have established four types of theoretical models of the out-of-plane compression mechanical properties of the lattice configuration. The test results show that the compressive strength of the interlocking assembled lattice structure is close to the theoretical compressive strength.
Of course, not all lattice products are suitable for the preparation of this interlocking assembly method. This research actually provides the possibility for the efficient preparation of large-scale 3D printed lattice structures with excellent mechanical properties.
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