Parametrically designed surface topography on CAD models of additively manufactured lattice structures for improved design validation

Mohamed Chahid, Radu Racasan, Luca Pagani, Andrew Townsend, Alexander Liu, Paul Bills, Liam Blunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Additively Manufactured (AM) lattice structures of the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process generally have different surface geometries depending on the overhang angle and location. This means that the design validation stage is often challenging, considering it is based on an ideal Computer Aided Design (CAD) model that is not truly representative, since the AM part will be different in terms of dimensional accuracy and surface finish. Previous studies have relied on the design of surface textures that are independent of the overhang angle, or techniques based on directly using X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) data. In this paper, a new technique for designing surface texture on the CAD of lattices has been investigated and correlated with areal surface roughness parameters. After extracting areal surface parameters from the XCT data of the lattice, the method allowed for the design of this surface texture on the part CAD taking in consideration if its up skin or down skin, without using XCT data as the main input. By applying this method, it is possible to obtain a lattice CAD model with a designed surface texture and geometry that is more representative of the actual AM lattice. The mean deviation between the CAD model with the designed surface and the XCT was a third of the one between the XCT and the initial CAD. The proposed method allows for designing and replicating LPBF AM surfaces on the CAD of a lattice, taking into consideration the dimensional deviation caused by AM surfaces, especially on overhangs. Assuming that an LPBF AM process is stable and produces approximately the same AM surface, this method can be used to predict the geometry of a lattice, providing a cost-effective and efficient methodology that minimizes the time needed for design validation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101731
Number of pages13
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Early online date27 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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