Build Accuracy and Compression Properties of Additively Manufactured 304L Honeycombs


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze the build quality and compression properties of thin-walled 304L honeycomb structures manufactured by selective laser melting. Four honeycomb wall thicknesses, from 0.2 to 0.5 mm, were built and analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach: The density of the honeycombs was changed by increasing the wall thickness of each sample. The honeycombs were tested under compression. Differences between the computer-assisted design model and the as-built structure were quantified by measuring physical dimensions. The microstructure was evaluated by optical microscopy, density measurements and microhardness.

Findings: The Vickers hardness of the honeycomb structures was 209 ± 14 at 50 g load. The compression ultimate and yield strength of the honeycomb material were shown to increase as the wall thickness of the honeycomb samples increased. The specific ultimate strength also increased with wall thickness, while the specific yield stress of the honeycomb remained stable at 42 ± 2.7 MPa/g/cm3. The specific ultimate strength minimized near 0.45 mm wall thickness at 82 ± 5 MPa/g/cm3 and increased to 134 ± 3 MPa/g/cm3 at 0.6 mm wall thickness.

Originality/value: This study highlights a single lightweight metal structure, the honeycomb, built by additive manufacturing (AM). The honeycomb is an interesting structure because it is a well-known building material in the lightweight structural composites field but is still considered a relatively complex geometric shape to fabricate. As shown here, AM techniques can be used to make complex geometric shapes with strong materials to increase the design flexibility of the lightweight structural component industry.


Materials Science and Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Third Research Center/Lab

Intelligent Systems Center


Published online: 27 Apr 2020

Support from Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies (CAMT) at Missouri University of Science and Technology is gratefully acknowledged.

Keywords and Phrases

Composites; Material properties; Mechanical properties of materials; Microstructure; Selective laser sintering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2020 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

19 Jun 2020