Challenge

Reduce the weight of a metal bracket, without compromising strenght

Solution

Create cellular structures

Software used

Materialise 3-matic

Insight/How

Using insights from simulation software

Industry

Aerospace

With Materialise software that is perfectly compatible with simulation and analysis software, you can create strong and light industrial metal parts. This aerospace part was 3D printed in Titanium at our metal competence center in Bremen, with a 63% weight reduction compared to the traditionally manufactured part.

How to obtain strong lightweight parts

To reduce the weight of the bracket as well as the support structures, the Materialise team used design enhancement software Materialise 3-matic to check which zones could be replaced by cellular structures. These use less material, while maintaining the required stiffness. Then the team decided on the size and position of the unit cells and redesigned the part to ensure its printability.

Afterwards, the team modified the beam diameters according to stresses and printability criteria. Finally, they tested the stress accumulation in the final design and checked if topological changes were necessary. After these simulation iterations, the bracket’s weight was reduced by an impressive 63%.

lightweight parts infographic.png

In the end, only 37% of the original volume remained.

 

The benefits of powerful 3D printing software

The final result was that:

  • Sacrificial supports were replaced by functional lightweight structures
  • Consequently, less post-processing was necessary
  • The total amount of material was reduced by 63%
  • The thermal stress was reduced due to less bulk material and larger support areas

Thanks to the strong connection between Materialise 3-matic software and FEA analyses, the metal part was strong and 3D printable. The significant weight reduction leads to a smaller carbon print and less fuel usage for airplanes.

Are you interested in producing strong, lightweight parts? Read more about Materialise 3-matic software.