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A Standardized Framework for Communicating and Modelling Parametrically Defined Mesostructure Patterns

G. Williams, J. O'Brien, A. Mezghani, M. Eachus, N. A. Meisel, and C. McComb
2019, 30th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium

Intricate mesostructures in additive manufacturing (AM) designs can offer enhanced strength-to-weight performance. However, complex mesostructures can also hinder designers, often resulting in unpalatably large digital files that are difficult to modify. Similarly, existing methods for defining and representing complex mesostructures are highly variable, which further increases the challenge in realizing such structures for AM. To address these gaps, we propose a standardized framework for designing and representing mesostructured components tailored to AM. Our method uses a parametric language to describe complex patterns, defined by a combination of macrostructural, mesostructural, and vector field information. We show how various mesostructures, ranging from simple rectilinear patterns to complex, vector field-driven cellular cutouts can be represented using few parameters (unit cell dimensions, orientation, and spacing). Our proposed framework has the potential to significantly reduce file size, while its extensible nature enables it to be expanded in the future.