How to create a Kelvin Cell structure in SolidWorks (or other CAD softwares) ?


I would like to create a 3D Tetradecahedron cell structure (Kelvin cell,please see the attached picture) with ligaments which are beams with hollow triangular cross sections using SolidWorks. I was wondering if it is possible to make a 3D sketch of the polyhedron with lines, and then mount the beams on the sketch skeleton? Or it is better create single ligaments and then assemble them in a way that creates the final Tetradecahedron cell ? I would appreciate your guidance and suggestions on the best way to make the model. Also, I would appreciate if you explain how to create a 3D Tetradecahedron cell sketch from scratch.


P.S. The attached picture is from the following article:
Kumar, Prashant, Frederic Topin, and Lounes Tadrist. "Geometrical characterization of Kelvin-like metal foams for different strut shapes and porosity." Journal of Porous Media 18.6 (2015).

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4 Answers

There are a few ways to do it. Attached is a SW2018 model (this was Trinityscsp's model, I just added a few features) that makes use of Weldments. I used hollow square tubing, but you can create a custom hollow triangular profile. I did not spend any time trying to clean up the intersections in this model.

The same type of hollow model could also be made without Weldments. Just a bunch of extrusions (or sweeps, or lofts) will net the same result.

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In Autodesk Inventor:
open cell model made with frame generator

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