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Lightweighting design optimisation for additively manufactured mirrors

Atkins, C; Brzozowski, W; Dobson, N; Milanova, M; Todd, S; Pearson, D; Bourgenot, C J; Brooks, D; Snell, R M; Sun, W; Cooper, P; Alcock, S G; Nistea, I T; Hallibert, P; Hull, T B; Kim, D W (2019) Lightweighting design optimisation for additively manufactured mirrors. Proccedings of the SPIE, 11116. 1111617

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Design for additive manufacture (AM; 3D printing) is significantly different than design for subtractive machining. Although there are some limitations on the designs that can be printed, the increase in the AM design-space removes some of the existing challenges faced by the traditional lightweight mirror designs; for example, sandwich mirrors are just as easy to fabricate as open-back mirrors via AM, and they provide an increase in structural rigidity. However, the ability to print a sandwich mirror as a single component does come with extra considerations; such as orientation upon the build plate and access to remove any temporary support material. This paper describes the iterations in optimisation applied to the lightweighting of a small, 84 mm diameter by 20 mm height, spherical concave mirror intended for CubeSat applications. The initial design, which was fabricated, is discussed in terms of the internal lightweighting design and the design constraints that were imposed by printing and post-processing. Iterations on the initial design are presented; these include the use of topology optimisation to minimise the total internal strain energy during mirror polishing and the use of lattices combined with thickness variation i.e. having a thicker lattice in strategic support locations. To assess the suitability of each design, finite element analysis is presented to quantify the print-through of the lightweighting upon the optical surface for a given mass reduction.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Finite element analysis, topology optimisation, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, lightweight mirrors, mirror fabrication
Subjects: Engineering Measurements > Dimensional
Divisions: Engineering
Identification number/DOI: 10.1117/12.2528105
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 14:32
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/8878

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