Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies able to process high-performing polymers have been recently successfully employed in metal-replacement applications. These processes can lead to significant advantages in terms of costs, flexibility, and time-to-market. However, several challenges arise from the design for AM, which requires the use of advanced numerical techniques to guarantee the full mechanical exploitation of the available material.
Our CompMech member G. Alaimo, with the support of A. Cattenone, performed a full additive redesign of an ABB component, relying on the topology optimization tools available in the commercial software Ansys, in the context of the “2020 ABB Challenge” awarded to Prof. F. Auricchio.
The optimization has been performed reproducing the real working conditions and accounting for three different load case scenarios. All the economic, mechanical, and production requirements have been satisfied. The obtained optimized design also enables a single component to be produced instead of an assembly of 20 individual parts as in the current solution.
The developed optimized design has been successfully tested and validated in a laboratory environment, using the mechanical testing machine available at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture.
March 30, 2022