Research Papers

Additive Manufacturing to Advance Functional Design: An Application in the Medical Field

[+] Author and Article Information
Claudio Comotti

Department of Management, Information and
Production Engineering,
University of Bergamo,
Dalmine (BG) 24044, Italy
e-mail: claudio.comotti@unibg.it

Daniele Regazzoni

Department of Management, Information and
Production Engineering,
University of Bergamo,
Dalmine (BG) 24044, Italy
e-mail: daniele.regazzoni@unibg.it

Caterina Rizzi

Department of Management, Information and
Production Engineering,
University of Bergamo,
Dalmine (BG) 24044, Italy
e-mail: caterina.rizzi@unibg.it

Andrea Vitali

Department of Management, Information and
Production Engineering,
University of Bergamo,
Dalmine (BG) 24044, Italy
e-mail: andrea.vitali1@unibg.it

Contributed by the Computers and Information Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 5, 2016; final manuscript received June 16, 2016; published online February 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: ChiKit Au.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 17(3), 031006 (Feb 16, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: JCISE-16-1057; doi: 10.1115/1.4033994 History: Received February 05, 2016; Revised June 16, 2016

The improvement and the massive diffusion of additive manufacturing (AM) techniques have fostered the research of design methods to exploit at best the feature introduced by these solutions. The whole design paradigm needs to be changed taking into account new manufacturing capabilities. AM is not only an innovative method of fabrication, but it requires a new way to design products. Traditional practices of mechanical design are changing to exploit all potential of AM, new parameters and geometries could be realized avoiding technologies constrains of molding or machine tooling. The concept of “manufacturing for design” increasingly acquires greater importance and this means we have the chance to focus almost entirely on product functionality. The possibility to confer inhomogeneous properties to objects provides an important design key. We will study behavior and structure according to desired functions for each object identifying three main aspects to vary: infill type, external topology and shape, and material composition. In this research work, we focus on fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology of three dimensional (3D) printing that easily allows to explore all previous conditions. We present a new way to conceive design process in order to confer variable properties to AM objects and some guidelines to control properties of deformation and elasticity using classic infills. The ultimate aim is to apply new design rules provided by AM in the prosthetic field of lower limb amputees. The socket of the prosthesis represents a deformable interface between the residual limb and the artificial leg that must be optimized according to geometry and loads distribution of patient. An application for a transfemoral patient will be discussed.

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Fig. 1

FDM operating principle (Image courtesy of www.custompartnet.com)

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Fig. 2

Typical infill patterns for 3D printing (Image courtesy of www.slic3r.org)

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Fig. 4

Main parameters to control function of 3D printed objects

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Fig. 5

Steps of the optimization process of the infill with cross- sectional method [7]

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Fig. 6

Examples of optimized 3D printing direction [8]

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Fig. 7

Structure obtained with medial axis method [9]

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Fig. 8

Process flow from object with applied loads to 3D printed object with porous structure [12]

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Fig. 9

Steps of the method presented in Ref. [14] based on metamaterial properties

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Fig. 13

Behavior of an auxetic material in (a) compression, (b) relaxed, and (c) stretching

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Fig. 12

(a) Bending realized by elastic textures [13], (b) hinge joint realized with laser cutting, and (c) innovative titanium compliant [16]

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Fig. 11

Examples of multimaterial 3D printed objects

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Fig. 10

Design workflow based on topological optimization

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Fig. 14

Metamaterial realized with multiple compositions [20]

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Fig. 15

(a) Example of controlled compression structure [21]. (b) Spheres designed to encapsulate for compression [22].

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Fig. 16

Example of torsional object realized with elastic textures [13]

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Fig. 17

(a) Inner cross section view of different infill ratio in the printed socket. (b) Example of multimaterial socket with hard and soft zones.



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