Three Tricks for Mastering Lattice Structures in Creo




Additive manufacturing opens new doors for product designers. No longer are you constrained to shapes that can easily be milled or poured into a mold. Now you can print shapes that, while not traditional looking, might provide more strength using less materials.

That’s one reason we introduced tools for creating lattice structures in Creo. We’ve already covered how to generate 2.5D and 3D lattices. In this post, I’ll tell you about three more interesting options for lattice design:

  • Isolating Beams in a Lattice Cell
  • Creating Simplified Reps
  • More Simplified Reps: Conical Beams

Version: Creo 5.0

Extensions: Creo Additive Manufacturing Extension (AMX)

Isolating Beams in Lattice Cells

Lattices are made up of symmetrical 3D cells that you define, modify, and duplicate to create an optimized volume. You add the lattice to a Creo part, as a feature of the part.

You can modify a lattice cell by selecting specific beams within the cell, like the inner horizontal beams, outer vertical beams, and angular beams. In this example, we show you how to quickly modify the truss beams: Simply go to the Cell tab, then under Cell Configuration, select Truss.

 

Truss cell

Lattice cell showing all truss beams

 Truss cell with only outer beams

Lattice cell showing only outer truss beams

 

 For a video demonstration of the Truss cell options in Creo AMX, watch this short video:  

 

Creating Simplified Representations

In Creo, you can create a simplified representation of beam-based lattices to quickly approximate values like mass properties. You can also analyze the simplified model in Creo Simulate quickly for values like displacement. This speeds up design analysis until you’re ready to finalize your part.

To create the simplified rep, follow these steps:

  1. In the Model Tree, click a previously defined lattice structure. A context menu appears.
  2. Click Edit Definition.
  3. Switch from Full Geometry to Simplified.

Note that you can then measure its mass by clicking the Analysis tab, then Mass Properties, then the coordinate system. Or, again, open Creo Simulate to run simulation studies.

Pro Tip

This method approximates the mass properties calculations. For more accuracy, you’ll want to run your calculations again by switching back to the full geometry representation of the lattice structure.

Watch this video to see the differences in computations between simplified and full representation.

More Simplified Reps: Conical Beams

Creo can also automatically create conical beams to manage the transition when you design a reinforcement in the lattice. Use the simplified conical lattice for faster analysis in Creo Simulate.  As with simplified reps above, use these values to quickly approximate your measurements. Then, once you get close to your target results, switch to the full representation to accurately finalize your lattice.

 

To simplify designs with conical beams, just follow these steps: Under the Lattice tab, select Simplified, then create a variable density lattice with conical beams. You can then open Creo Simulate for both static and animated analysis to check the build integrity.

Conical beams in Creo AMX

Conical Beams in Creo Simulate

Conical beams shown in Creo AMX (top) and in Creo Simulate (bottom)

 Watch the creation and testing of conical beams in this video:

Try Creo Free

You can try out many of these features with your own designs today. Download the 30-day free trial. Available now!

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