Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Engineering (M.S.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan B. Crane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Delcie Durham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.


energy absorbance, low stiffness, compliant, flexible, bending dominated


Additive manufacturing offers a manufacturing technique to produce complex geometry prototypes at a rapid pace and low cost. These advantages advocate additive manufacturing for the design and production of cellular structures. Cellular structures are interesting because they contain a large amount of porosity (void space of air) to manifest a lightweight structure. Designs of cellular structures generate a periodic pattern; often of complex geometry, called a lattice.

There has been a significant amount of research to maximize specific stiffness of lattice structures but little to evaluate low-stiffness lattices. Low-stiffness structures benefit energy absorbance through bending of the lattice. This research seeks to assess diamond lattices as low stiffness, bending structures.

The research involves PA2200 (Nylon 12) laser sintered diamond lattices with experimental compression testing and direct FEA model comparison. A correction factor is applied for a design offset of laser sintered lattices. Once applied, the experimental and FEA data agree in validating the diamond lattice as a bending-dominated structure. Diamond lattices show a 4th order relationship between stiffness and parameters of thickness and unit cell length. For density, stiffness maintains a 2nd order relationship, as predicted by bending dominated structures. The resulting stiffness can be tuned over a stiffness range of four orders of magnitude. Further research shows the results for modifying the diamond lattice and scaling stiffness and density using other materials (like metals) to expand the range of stiffness and compare diamond lattices on material property charts. Lastly, the effective Poisson’s ratio varies from 0.5 to 0.4 depending on the (t/L) ratio.