Structural Optimisation for Controlled Deflections of Additively Manufactured Single Material Beams
Closely controlling the mechanical behaviour and characterization of the deflection of a beam structure is a well-known and widely studied engineering problem. The progress in additive manufacturing methods and the possibilities to closely control the material property variations with the controlled placement of materials further widen the opportunities to achieve given beam deflection criteria. The multi-material additive manufacturing solutions suffer from the lack of real engineering material options, and the quality and performance of the printed parts are usually unsuitable for producing functional parts. A novel cellular structured solution is proposed here, which utilises optimisation of geometries of individual cells of a single material structured beam to obtain deflection profiles closely matched with preset conditions under different loading conditions. The cellular geometry of the structured beam is continually altered for searching and converging on the optimal structure of the cells by the covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy algorithm in an iterative manner. The optimised beam structures could also be physically produced with single material additive manufacturing methods and the experimental and numerical beam deflection responses correlated closely.