This paper aims to explore the effects of optimisation parameters (the filter radius, mesh size, and target volume fraction) on the compliance and manufacturability of smooth self-supporting topologies for additive manufacturing (AM); and conduct manufacturability experiments of selected simulation results with the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology. In this study, smooth self-supporting topologies are obtained with a combined method of the Solid Isotropic Microstructure with Penalization method (SIMP) with the smooth boundary representation and Langelaar's AM filter. Numerical examples illustrate that a higher filter radius can lead to simpler smooth self-supporting topologies, but curved top corners that violate the critical overhang angle of 45° are inevitably generated. Additionally, the mesh size is found to be not as an important factor as the filter radius in affecting the manufacturability and performance. As a result of the self-supporting constraint, a small volume fraction can easily result in structural discontinuity. The experimental results demonstrate that the self-supporting topologies obtained are all printable in SLM.
- Additive manufacturing
- elemental volume fractions
- selective laser melting (SLM)
- smooth self-supporting design
- solid isotropic microstructure with penalisation method (SIMP)