showcase lawrence liveradditional national laboratory 3D printed microstructures with various cushioning properties


Last August, we reported on an amazing partnership with two quite various leaders in the 3D printing industry. Autodesk, on the one hand, has been developing CAD software for years, additional not long ago optimizing it for 3D printing with a new generation of programs that implementing biomimetic turn it into to turn it into objects with given engineering applications. Lawrence Liveradditional National Laboratory has been performing cutting-edge research in the 3D printing of microstructures capable of one-of-a-kind physical properties. Together, the partners are applying their skills to create a new type of helmet that makes our current protective gear obsolete. has since updated that story with an in-depth interview, pulling out the makes it to that Autodesk and LLNL have created so far in their 18-month study.

Combining Autodesk’s powerful Project Dreamcatcher software and LLNL’s research on microstructures, the Autodesk Research study is aimed at determining precisely what point of impact is responsible for a concussion. LLNL technical researcher Eric Duoss explains to Mic, “In a few ways this is a completely new way of thinking of turn it into. Could you upfront-turn it into a set of objectives [or] properties and performance requirements without necessarily having detailed or intuitive understandledge of what the structure may be … and can you have the desktop derive that structure for you?”

lawrence liveradditional national laboratory 3D printed microstructures with various cushioning properties

This image and the showcase image are of LLNL’s previous research on microlattices.

This thought of via turn it into objectives to instruction a CAD version is one that is at the heart of Autodesk’s latest software, like Dreamcatcher and Within. LLNL’s work with microarchitecture, that required achieving extreme levels of print resolution, takes the thought down to the microscopic level, with the lab’s researchers laying down small lattice structures in various patterns to generate various physical properties. By distributing the material in various ways, they’ve learned to generate physical properties that were “previously unobtainable,” he tells Mic.

Now, the team is exploring the most substances for the job, thinking the use of silicon to replace the foam pads we’ve grown accustomed to in helmets. But, due to the microlattice structure building up the pads, Dan White, deputy division leader of computational engineering at LLNL, says that it’s quite “70% to 80% nothing” and not solid silicon. In turn, they’ve discovered that silicon padding absorbs 50% additional energy than solid foam. And for the reason the helmets may be 3D printed, they may be tailored precisely to the heads of wearers, probably actually via patient-specific scans to generate the 3D version.

As attendees of the 2015 Will Smith movie Concussion understand, the NFL has been coming under ever-closer scrusmall for the brain injure caused to its players. Recently, the organization settled for approximately $1 billion in one law suit of over 5,000 players with concussion-related issues. Whilst existing helmet manufacturers may take on to address these issues, the Autodesk Research study takes helmet turn it into to a whole new level.

autodesk airbus 2

As the partners have been patenting their inventions, they plan to license plans to manufacturers to create a new generation of helmets. The work can in addition stretch beyond the 18-month duration of the study, as LLNL looks into 3D printing bike helmets and the use of microstructures in aircraft turn it into. We’ve may already seen Autodesk partner with Airbus to apply their goal-oriented turn it into innovation to turn it into lighter aircraft barriers. It mayn’t be surprising to see such microlattices bringing off, as well.

Michael Molitch-Hou

About The Author

Michael is Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry and the discovereder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so that you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA Critical Studies & Writing Program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace. Michael already resides in San Pedro with his magical wife, Danielle.