Additive Manufacturing and Architected Materials
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), we have embarked upon multiple new initiatives in manufacturing and materials. Here we discuss our efforts in new additive manufacturing processes for architected materials. Our recently developed additive manufacturing techniques open the door to advanced materials with engineered properties. Material properties are governed by the chemical composition and spatial arrangement of constituent elements at multiple length scales. This fundamentally limits material properties with respect to each other creating trade-offs when selecting materials for a specific application. For example, strength and density are inherently linked so that, in general, the more dense the material, the stronger it is in bulk form. We are combining advanced microstructural design, using flexure and screw theory as well as topology optimization, with new additive micro- and nanomanufacturing techniques to create new material systems with previously unachievable property combinations. Our manufacturing techniques include Projection Microstereolithography (PμSL), Direct Ink Writing (DIW), and Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD). These tools are capable of generating the designed structures which are highly three-dimensional micro- and nano-scale architectures with multiple constituent materials in the same structure. To date, we have utilized our methods and technologies to demonstrate material systems with new and controlled properties.