Multi-material fabrication allows for the creation of individual parts composed of several materials with distinct properties, providing opportunities for integrating mechanisms into monolithic components. Components produced in this manner will have material boundaries which may be points of failure. However, the unique capabilities of multi-material fabrication allow for the use of graded material transitions at these boundaries to mitigate the impact of abrupt material property changes.
The goal of this work is to identify methods of creating graded material transitions that can improve the ultimate tensile strength of a multi-material component while maintaining other model properties. Particular focus is given towards transitions that can be produced using low cost manufacturing equipment. This work presents a series of methods for creating graded material transitions which include previously established transition types as well as several novel techniques. Test samples of each transition type were produced using additive manufacturing and their performance was measured. It is shown that some types of transitions can increase the ultimate strength of a part, while others may introduce new stress concentrations that reduce performance. This work then presents a method for adjusting the elastic modulus of a component to which graded material transitions have been added to allow the original design properties to be met.
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