Difference between Lattice Structure and Generative Design

The main objective of both the lattice and generative design is to reduce the part weight of the product but yet maintaining the design goals & properties of the product.

With the benefits of 3D printing, we are able to 3D print these optimized complex lattice structure designs which is not possible to manufacture using the traditional manufacturing process.

3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS is a complementary software that provide SOLIDWORKS users to prepare and optimize your design for additive manufacturing. The new enhancement for to develop bespoke and optimize lattice design structure helps companies to reduce costs and gain competitive advantage.

3DXpert software itself has various enhancement to shorten the preparation time and reduce manufacturing costs. The new lattice QuickSlice slicer engine shorten the slicing time for high-volume lattice structures.

For existing 3D Systems users, 3D Sprint prepares and optimize CAD and polygon data as well as managing the additive manufacturing process using a single software application from CAD to print.

There are 2 types of lattice structure used in additive manufacturing:

1. Volume lattice – converting the product to the geometrical cell, with intersecting thin sections, that will replicate within the part in all directions to form a grid bounded by the part.

2. Infill lattice – creating a 2D pattern and extruded upward to form walls bounded by the part. Using effective infill lattice with the right materials, designers can enhance or tune the properties of the product to achieve greater deflection, flexibility or even stiffness while reducing the weight of the product.

The infill feature in 3D Sprint consists of three sub-commands (Offset, Lattice and Vent Drain) which allow for easy assignment of specified lattice structure to the volume inside a shell. Lattice structure generation occurs inside the printer rather than on the time of infill assignment within 3D Sprint.

When applying an Infill to a part in 3D Sprint, you will want to minimize the wall thickness and Infill density while making sure your part will still have the rigidity to resist deformation in post processing.

Generative design is another term that is commonly used in the recent years and there are a handful number of software in the market now that usually use the algorithm to generates design alternatives and possible permutations of the solution that achieve the design goals input by the designers and engineers.

Generative design is mostly used during the product design stage but what if your product design does not have the generative design but you would like to reduce the weight during the 3D printing process?

Learn more if you are interested to find out how Thales Alenia and GE Aircraft using generative design and topology optimization.

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