Light-Weighting of Additive Manufactured Automotive Fixtures through Topology Optimization Techniques 2019-28-2544
Rapidly enhancing engineering techniques to manufacture components in quick turnaround time have gained importance in recent times. Manufacturing strategies like Additive Manufacturing (AM) are a key enabler for achieving them. Unlike traditional manufacturing techniques like injection molding, casting etc.; AM unites advanced materials, machines, and software which will be critical for the fourth industrial revolution known as Industry 4.0. Successful application of AM involves a specific combination and understanding of these three key elements. In this paper the AM approach used is Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). Since material costs contribute to 60% of the overall FDM costs, it becomes a necessity to optimize the parts. This paper reports the case studies of 3D-printed Automotive Fixtures which utilize computational methods (CAE), topology optimization and FDM constrains (build directions) to manufacture the part. These methodologies were used to validate the current operating conditions, optimize the design, increase the stiffness of the original part and reduce the material costs. The newly optimized designs were verified successfully passing the Finite Element Analysis tests. The components have been printed and are validated for its intended operating conditions. By uniting materials, processes and the digital data (CAD) in initial design phase has proven to be highly beneficial in this case study.