Additively Manufactured Scaffolds with Optimized Thickness Based on Triply Periodic Minimal Surface
Triply periodic minimal surfaces (TPMS) became an effective method to design porous scaffolds in recent years due to their superior mechanical and other engineering properties. Since the advent of additive manufacturing (AM), different TPMS-based scaffolds are designed and fabricated for a wide range of applications. In this study, Schwarz Primitive triply periodic minimal surface (P-TPMS) is adopted to design a novel porous scaffold according to the distribution of the scaffold stress under a fixed load with optimized thickness to tune both the mechanical and biological properties. The designed scaffolds are then additively manufactured through selective laser melting (SLM). The micro-features of the scaffolds are studied through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro-computed tomography (CT) images, and the results confirm that morphological features of printed samples are identical to the designed ones. Afterwards, the quasi-static uniaxial compression tests are carried out to observe the stress&ndash;strain curves and the deformation behavior. The results indicate that the mechanical properties of the porous scaffolds with optimized thickness were significantly improved. Since the mass transport capability is important for the transport of nutrients within the bone scaffolds, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are used to calculate the permeability under laminar flow conditions. The results reveal that the scaffolds with optimized structures possess lower permeability due to the rougher inner surface. In summary, the proposed method is effective to tailor both the mechanical properties and permeability, and thus offers a means for the selection and design of porous scaffolds in biomedical fields.