In this case study you can see that the component is originally a solid block where two pipes, carrying fluids, merge into one larger pipe which exits the block at right angle to the original direction. To create this component with traditional methods, you would have to drill two holes into the top of the block in such a way as to meet another hole drilled from the side of the block. Where the pipes meet in the middle of the block would then be a point of resistance as the flow of fluid would be interrupted by the sharp angle change between the pipes. By building the pipe design into the component, a more continuous pipe construction can be created where a uniform cross section is maintained between the two smaller pipes and the one larger pipe creating a smoothly curving junction to limit any unwanted interruption to fluid flow.
In addition to the task of designing the pipes, this conceptual block had two further requirements; withstanding a fictional asymmetric complex loading from the top surface of the block and the need to support the under surface of the top plate of the block. The underneath of the larger pipe (and the junction to some extent) also needed to be supported.
The images below demonstrate the design process and resulting lattice design. The part was then built in stainless steel on an EOS M270 additive manufacturing system.
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