Fabrication, Mechanics, and Reliability Analysis for Three-Dimensional Printed Lattice Designs

Nitin Nagesh Kulkarni, Stephen Ekwaro-Osire, Paul F. Egan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The use of three-dimensional (3D) printing for lattice structures has led to advances in diverse applications benefitting from mechanically efficient designs. Three-dimensional printed lattices are often used to carry loads, however, printing defects and inconsistencies potentially hinder performance. Here, we investigate the design, fabrication, mechanics, and reliability of lattices with repeating cubic unit cells using probabilistic analysis. Lattices were designed with 500 lm diameter beams and unit cell lengths from 0.8 mm to 1.6 mm. Designs were printed with stereolithography and had average beam diameters from 509 lm to 622 lm, thereby demonstrating a deviation from design intentions. Mechanical experiments were conducted and demonstrated an exponential increase in yield stress for lattice relative density that facilitated probabilistic failure analysis. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated lattice mechanics were most sensitive to fluctuations for beam diameter (74%) and second to lattice yield stress (8%) for lattices with 1.6 mm unit cells, while lattices with smaller 1.0 mm unit cells were most sensitive to yield stress (48%) and second to beam diameter (43%). The methodological framework is generalizable to further 3D printed lattice systems, and findings provide new insights linking design, fabrication, mechanics, and reliability for improved system design that is crucial for engineers to consider as 3D printing becomes more widely adopted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011107
JournalASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part B: Mechanical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


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