Additive manufacturing of metallic lattice structures: Unconstrained design, accurate fabrication, fascinated performances, and challenges

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports




School of Engineering




Jiangsu Province six talent peaks project National Natural Science Foundation of China Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship Open Foundation of Guangxi Key Laboratory of Processing for Non-ferrous Metals and Featured Materials, Guangxi University Australian Research Council

Grant Number

ARC Number : DP110101653, DP130103592

Grant Link

http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP110101653 http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP130103592


Chen, L. Y., Liang, S. X., Liu, Y., & Zhang, L. C. (2021). Additive manufacturing of metallic lattice structures: Unconstrained design, accurate fabrication, fascinated performances, and challenges. Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports, 146, article 100648. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mser.2021.100648


Lattice structures, which are also known as architected cellular structures, have been applied in various industrial sectors, owing to their fascinated performances, such as low elastic modulus, high stiffness-to-weight ratio, low thermal expansion coefficient, and large specific surface area. The lattice structures fabricated by conventional manufacturing technologies always involve complicated process control, additional assembly steps, or other uncontrollable factors. Furthermore, limited types of unit cells can be used to construct lattice structures when using conventional processes. Fortunately, additive manufacturing technology, based on a layer-by-layer process from computer-aided design models, demonstrates the unique capability and flexibility and provides an ideal platform in manufacturing complex components like lattice structures, resulting in an effective reduction in the processing time to actual application and minimum of material waste. Therefore, additive manufacturing relieves the constraint of structure design and provides accurate fabrication for lattice structures with good quality. This work systematically presents an overview of conventional manufacturing methods and novel additive manufacturing technologies for metallic lattice structures. Afterward, the design, optimization, a variety of properties, and applications of metallic lattice structures produced by additive manufacturing are elaborated. By summarizing state-of-the-art progress of the additively manufactured metallic lattice structures, limitations and future perspectives are also discussed.



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