Additively manufactured objects often exhibit directional dependencies in their structure due to the layered nature of the printing process. While this dependency has a significant impact the object’s functional performance, the problem of finding the best build orientation to maximize structural robustness remains largely unsolved. We introduce an optimization algorithm that addresses this issue by identifying the build orientation that maximizes the factor of safety of an input object under prescribed loading and boundary con- figurations. First, we conduct a minimal number of physical experiments to characterize the anisotropic material properties. Next, we use a surrogate-based optimization method to determine the build orientation that maximizes the mini- mum factor safety. The surrogate-based optimization starts with a small number of finite element solutions corresponding to different build orientations. The initial solutions are progressively improved with the addition of new solutions until the optimum orientation is computed. We demonstrate our method with physical experiments on various test models from different categories. We evaluate the advantages and limitations of our method by comparing the failure characteristics of parts printed in different orientations.
Erva Ulu, Emrullah Korkmaz, Kubilay Yay, O. Burak Ozdoganlar, Levent Burak Kara. (2015). Enhancing the Structural Performance of Additively Manufactured Objects Through Build Orientation Optimization. Journal of Mechanical Design, Special Issue on Design for Additive Manufacturing, Volume 137, Issue 11.