The concept of thermoelastic metamaterials has been around for over two decades. Nevertheless they are rarely applied, due to their poor manufacturability. To enhance their applicability, a topology optimization framework is proposed and verified, able to generate finite thermoelastic unit cell arrays with tailored unidirectional thermal expansion, manufacturable through automated multi-material additive manufacturing methods. A thermoelastic unit cell array is optimized for near zero thermal expansion. A sample has been fabricated using a low-tech production process, inspired by a multi-material ultrasonic additive manufacturing process, with a unidirectional thermal expansion of (-4±8) μm=(m°C). With this sample, the numerical predictions have been validated experimentally, confirming the capability of the proposed design approach to generate performant and realizable thermoelastic metamaterials.
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