Microstructure and Process Based Topology Optimization of Direct Metal Deposition Parts

AiM2XL project

Vibhas Mishra (PhD candidate), Can Ayas, Matthijs Langelaar, and Fred van Keulen (supervisor) 

Direct Metal Deposition (DMD), an Additive Manufacturing (AM) variant, is currently used to produce large scale structures such as ship propellers and aircraft structures (Approximately 1-3 m). In DMD, the metal wire or powder is simultaneously melted and deposited along a predefined deposition path to produce a 3D structure. Certain unique characteristics of DMD such as higher metal deposition rate, freedom to choose deposition paths and order, and simultaneous multi-material deposition sets it apart from other AM variants. In order to exploit the complete potential of the process, design of the structure can be optimized by considering design and process related constraints which are posed by DMD.


Thin intersecting features in the printing plane leads to non-homogeneous deposition heights.


Minimizing the number of thin intersecting features in the printing plane to make a design suitable for DMD.


Stress based criterion to identify and minimize thin intersection was developed in Topology Optimization framework. The results are shown in the figure below.

Structural Optimized Design with large number of thin intersections in the printing plane (screen)
Structural Optimized Design with fewer thin intersecting features in the printing plane (screen)



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