Analysis Workspace - Lattice Size Optimization


The goal of the analysis workspace is to quickly and easily be able to run studies and tests on lattice structures to further optimize them to a desired performance. The first tool in the analysis workspace is our Lattice Size Optimization tool, which takes a pre-generated lattice and optimizes its beam or plate thickness based on the desired maximum allowable stress and or center of mass properties that the user specifies.

The stress optimization tool works by trying to bring all the internal stresses on lattice elements below the maximum allowed stress value and it does that by selectively thickening lattice elements until they reach their target stress value. An additional optimization target can be for center of mass. The center of mass optimization finds the sensitivity of the CoM location to each beam/plate location and its thickness. By using these sensitivities as a driver for thickening/thinning lattice elements, this tool is capable of rapid conversion to the desired CoM location as long as it is a feasible location based on the lattice geometry and constraints. A break down of the Beam Size Optimization tool workflow is shown below;

Lattice Size Optimization Workflow

  • Create a new lattice optimization study and select a lattice structure that was created in the generate workspace.

  • Optional Import a CAD object as selection object so you can assign loads based on the design space rather then specific lattice elements - this allows for modifications of the lattice without having to re-input loading conditions.

  • Add the load to either the lattice object or the imported CAD selection object.

  • Add the constraints to the study, for a CAD selection object you can apply the constraint to either a Vertex, Edge, or Face. For a Lattice object, you can select the nodes to apply the constraint on.

  • Solve brings up the optimization dialog box, where you can input material properties, minimum and maximum lattice element size, a total number of iterations for the optimization process, and desired Center of Mass location and allowable deviation from it. If not selected, the allowable min/max lattice thicknesses are chosen based on the lattice unit cell geometry. Selecting a valid range will result in faster optimization procedures.

  • The CoM optimization tool helps enable smoother transitions in beam diameters to achieve the desired center of mass location. To increase accuracy, the CoM location can also be calculated by meshing the thick lattice and the results can be used to manually update the optimization to achieve the desired results.

  • Run the solver to see the results of the study. The optimization tool breaks out of the optimization loop when desired results are achieved. Some larger lattice objects take longer to converge to a final stress, increasing the number of iterations will help achieve the desired results. The solver inputs are adjustable by double clicking the results tab.

  • Right click the results to export the final thickened lattice to the generate workspace for further modifications.

The analysis workspace is meant to be a starting point for quick and easy optimizations for lattice structures and is currently in BETA for testing. Further optimizations and analysis can be done with other solvers for validation. The analysis workspace will be extended beyond just the Lattice Size Optimization tool - our goal is to create tools that help engineers to create better performance parts.