With the rise of additive manufacturing (3D printing) in product development today, many designers will be excited to hear there is a new Lattice command in NX.
Lattices are complex geometrical structures used to lightweight and strengthen components. They give structural integrity to designs while reducing the amount of materials used in the finished product. All great things to have when we’re talking about product development.
Lattices are produced by additive manufacturing. Due to their complex geometrical nature, it’s virtually impossible to create lattices using traditional techniques – be it design or manufacturing. That’s why the Lattice command is so important for designers: It gives you a way to automatically generate these structures within the parameters you set so you can reap the benefits of a lighter, stronger design. The Lattice command even works on topology optimization results.
Let’s look now at how you would use the Lattice command in a design workflow in NX. The example shown here was first presented at our PLM Connection Americas event this year in Indianapolis by my colleague Paul Bevan.
We start with our model—in this case, it is an elevator bell crank—and from the Additive tab of the NX Modeling application, select Create Lattice. Use the selection tools to specify the area within which you wish to generate the lattice.
Next, you are given options to specify the lattice’s appearance and density. You can select from many different cell types and specify the cell edge length and rod diameter. You can also specify the placement and orientation of the lattice.
Once all of the parameters have been set, you are ready to generate your lattice.
The resulting lattice the command generates is a faceted body. To combine the lattice structure with the surrounding geometry of the part, simply use the Unite command. This will create a single convergent body that you can then change with Convergent Modeling.
This command demonstrates just one of many ways NX helps you stay ahead of the competition by leveraging new design techniques that make for lighter, stronger and more affordable products.