Cuttlebone, the internal shell structure of a cuttlefish, presents a unique labyrinthian wall-septa design that promotes high energy absorption, porosity, and damage tolerance. This structure offers us an inspiration for the design of lightweight and strong structures for potential applications in mechanical, aerospace and biomedical engineering. However, the complexity of the cuttlebones structural design makes its fabrication by traditional manufacturing techniques not feasible. The advances in additive manufacturing (3D printing) make highly complex structures like cuttlebone possible to manufacture. In this work, the authors sought to establish comparative data between cuttlebone structures and some common support structures used in additive manufacturing. The structures compared to cuttlebone in this work include the cubic, honeycomb and triangular support structures. This was accomplished by using CAD modeling and simulation software. This study found that the cuttlefish structures had higher average stress values than the others but similar average strain values. This leads to a higher modulus of elasticity for the cuttlebone structures. The data suggests that further research into cuttlebone structures could produce future designs that improve upon the current well-established additive manufacturing support structures. Further study will be performed for the 3D printing of cuttlebone inspired structures by using various types of materials, such as soft and rigid polymers, functional ceramics, composites, and metals.

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