Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SINGLE SHEAR JOINT FOR NODE-TO-NODE CONNECTIONS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/178257
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
One aspect is an apparatus including a first node including a first bonding surface and a second node including a second bonding surface. The apparatus includes a feature configured to accept an adhesive and an adhesive channel coupled to the feature configured to accept the adhesive. The apparatus includes a shear joint coupling the first node and the second node, the shear joint configured to receive the adhesive in an adhesive region formed by the first bonding surface and the second bonding surface, the adhesive for coupling the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface through the feature configured to accept the adhesive.

Inventors:
MACLEAN, Calvin Ray (Inc.19601 Hamilton Av, Los Angeles California, 90502, US)
Application Number:
US2019/022090
Publication Date:
September 19, 2019
Filing Date:
March 13, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
DIVERGENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (19601 Hamilton Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90502, US)
International Classes:
F16L13/10; F16L13/11; F16L17/02; F16L17/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017040728A12017-03-09
Foreign References:
US20050212297A12005-09-29
US20020014771A12002-02-07
US20060243382A12006-11-02
US7067032B12006-06-27
US6357802B12002-03-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GELFOUND, Craig A. et al. (555 West Fifth St. 48th Floo, Los Angeles California, 90013, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. An apparatus, comprising:

a first node including a first bonding surface;

a second node including a second bonding surface;

a feature configured to accept an adhesive;

an adhesive channel coupled to the feature configured to accept the adhesive; and a shear j oint coupling the first node and the second node, the shear j oint configured to receive the adhesive in an adhesive region formed by the first bonding surface and the second bonding surface, the adhesive for coupling the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface through the feature configured to accept the adhesive.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the feature configured to accept the adhesive comprises an adhesive inlet and an adhesive outlet.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the adhesive inlet comprises an adhesive port and the adhesive outlet comprises a vacuum port.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the adhesive inlet comprises an adhesive port and the adhesive outlet comprises an outlet for the adhesive.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the vacuum port is located on at least one of the first node or the second node and wherein the adhesive port is located on at least one of the first node or the second node.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein each of the adhesive port and the vacuum port comprise at least one of a protrusion or a recess.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising the adhesive coupling the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, the shear joint further comprising a sealant feature.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the sealant feature comprises a first sealant and a second sealant.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first sealant and the second sealant are attached to the first node.

11. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first sealant is attached to the first node and the second sealant is attached to the second node.

12. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the sealant comprises a mechanical sealant feature.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the mechanical sealant feature comprises an O-ring.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein features configured to accept the sealant comprise grooves configured to accept the O-ring.

15. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the sealant provides a hermetically sealed environment for the adhesive, the sealant providing an isolation between the first node and the second node to prevent physical contact of the first node and the second node.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first bonding surface and the second bonding surface are parallel to each other.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first bonding surface and the second bonding surface are oriented to a load path by an angle.

18. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein an adhesive bond section remains substantially parallel with a load path.

19. A method, comprising:

additively manufacturing a first node having a first bonding surface;

additively manufacturing a second node having a second bonding surface;

fixturing the first node and the second node for adhesive injection;

drawing a vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel; and injecting the adhesive through a feature configured to accept the adhesive to fill a bonding region, the bonding region formed by a bonding surface of the first node and a bonding surface of the second node, the adhesive for coupling the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising applying at least one seal to at least one of the first node and the second node.

21. The method of claim 19, further comprising letting the adhesive cure to obtain an adhesive bond.

22. An apparatus, comprising:

means for additively manufacturing a first node having a first bonding surface; means for additively manufacturing a second node having a second bonding surface;

means for fixturing the first node and the second node for adhesive injection; means for drawing a vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel; and

means for injecting adhesive through a feature configured to accept the adhesive to fill a bonding region, the bonding region formed by a bonding surface of the first node and a bonding surface of the second node, the adhesive for coupling the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface.

23. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising means for applying at least one seal to at least one of the first node and the second node.

Description:
SINGLE SHEAR JOINT FOR NODE-TO-NODE CONNECTIONS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 15/924,133,

entitled "SINGLE SHEAR JOINT FOR NODE-TO-NODE CONNECTIONS" and filed on March 16, 2018, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to apparatus and techniques in manufacturing, and more specifically to node-to-node connections that may be for use in producing vehicles, boats, aircraft and other mechanical structures.

Background

[0003] 3-D printing, which may also be referred to as additive manufacturing, is a process used to create 3-D objects. The 3-D objects may be formed using layers of material based on digital model data of the object. A 3-D printer may form the layers of material using the digital model data to print one layer at a time. 3-D printed objects may be almost any shape or geometry.

[0004] A 3-D printer may disseminate a powder layer (e.g., powdered metal) on an operating surface. The powder layer may be approximately 100 microns thick. The 3-D printer may then bond particular areas of the powder layer into a layer of the object, e.g., by using a laser to bond the powder of the powder layer together. The steps may be repeated to sequentially form each layer. Accordingly, the 3-D printed object may be built layer by layer to form the 3-D object.

[0005] 3-D printed components may be used to produce sub-components for various devices or apparatus. The 3-D printed sub-components may need to be attached or connected to other sub-components, including other 3-D printed sub-components, extruded sub components, or still other sub-components.

[0006] Nodes may be manufactured using 3-D printing or other manufacturing techniques.

The nodes may need to be attached together to form vehicles, boats, aircraft and other mechanical structures. Accordingly, node-to-node connection techniques may be used to attach nodes together.

SUMMARY

[0007] Several aspects of node-to-node single shear connections will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to three-dimensional printing techniques.

[0008] One aspect is an apparatus including a first node including a first bonding surface and a second node including a second bonding surface. The apparatus also includes a feature configured to accept an adhesive and an adhesive channel coupled to the feature configured to accept the adhesive. The apparatus also includes a shear joint coupling the first node and the second node. The shear joint is configured to receive the adhesive in an adhesive region formed by the first bonding surface and the second bonding surface. Additionally, the adhesive couples the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface through the feature that is configured to accept the adhesive.

[0009] One aspect is a method of manufacturing. The method includes additively manufacturing a first node having a first bonding surface and a second node having a second bonding surface. The method also includes fixturing the first node and the second node for adhesive injection. The method includes drawing vacuum to evacuate a bonding region. The method also includes injecting adhesive through a feature configured to accept an adhesive to fill a bonding region. The bonding region is formed by a bonding surface of the first node and a bonding surface of the second node. Additionally, the adhesive couples the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface.

[00010] One aspect is an apparatus including means for additively manufacturing a first node having a first bonding surface and a second node having a second bonding surface. The apparatus also includes means for fixturing the first node and the second node for adhesive injection. The apparatus includes means for drawing vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel. The apparatus also includes means for injecting adhesive through a feature configured to accept an adhesive to fill a bonding region, the bonding region formed by a bonding surface of the first node and a bonding surface of the second node. The adhesive couples the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface.

[00011] It will be understood that other aspects of 3-D printed components and related fasteners will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, wherein it is shown and described only several embodiments by way of illustration. As will be realized by those skilled in the art, the 3-D printed components and related fasteners are capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modification in various other respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00012] Various aspects of 3-D printed components and related fasteners will now be presented in the detailed description by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[00013] FIGS. 1A-D illustrate an example 3-D printer system during different stages of operation;

[00014] FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating an example connection feature;

[00015] FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating example features to accept sealants;

[00016] FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating an example method in accordance with the systems and methods described herein; and

[00017] FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating an example device in accordance with the systems and methods described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[00018] The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended to provide a description of various exemplary embodiments of 3-D printed components and related fasteners and is not intended to represent the only embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. The term "exemplary" used throughout this disclosure means "serving as an example, instance, or illustration," and should not necessarily be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments presented in this disclosure. The detailed description includes specific details for the purpose of providing a thorough and complete disclosure that fully conveys the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. However, the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In some instances, well-known structures and components may be shown in block diagram form, or omitted entirely, in order to avoid obscuring the various concepts presented throughout this disclosure.

[00019] The use of 3-D printing in the context of composite tooling provides significant flexibility for enabling manufacturers of mechanical structures and mechanized assemblies to manufacture parts with complex geometries. For example, 3-D printing techniques provide manufacturers with the flexibility to design and build parts having intricate internal lattice structures and/or profiles that are not possible to manufacture via traditional manufacturing processes.

[00020] FIGS. 1A-D illustrate respective side views of an exemplary 3-D printer system. In this example, the 3-D printer system is a powder-bed fusion (PBF) system 100. FIGS. 1A-D show PBF system 100 during different stages of operation. The particular embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1A-D is one of many suitable examples of a PBF system employing principles of this disclosure. It should also be noted that elements of FIGS. 1A-D and the other figures in this disclosure are not necessarily drawn to scale, but may be drawn larger or smaller for the purpose of better illustration of concepts described herein. PBF system 100 can include a depositor 101 that can deposit each layer of metal powder, an energy beam source 103 that can generate an energy beam, a deflector 105 that can apply the energy beam to fuse the powder material, and a build plate 107 that can support one or more build pieces, such as build piece 109. PBF system 100 can also include a build floor 111 positioned within a powder bed receptacle. The walls of the powder bed receptacle 112 generally define the boundaries of the powder bed receptacle, which is sandwiched between the walls 112 from the side and abuts a portion of the build floor 111 below. Build floor 111 can progressively lower build plate 107 so that depositor 101 can deposit a next layer. The entire mechanism may reside in a chamber 113 that can enclose the other components, thereby protecting the equipment, enabling atmospheric and temperature regulation and mitigating contamination risks. Depositor 101 can include a hopper 115 that contains a powder 117, such as a metal powder, and a leveler 119 that can level the top of each layer of deposited powder.

[00021] Referring specifically to FIG. 1A, this figure shows PBF system 100 after a slice of build piece 109 has been fused, but before the next layer of powder has been deposited. In fact, FIG. 1A illustrates a time at which PBF system 100 has already deposited and fused slices in multiple layers, e.g., 150 layers, to form the current state of build piece 109, e.g., formed of 150 slices. The multiple layers already deposited have created a powder bed 121, which includes powder that was deposited but not fused.

[00022] FIG. 1B shows PBF system 100 at a stage in which build floor 111 can lower by a powder layer thickness 123. The lowering of build floor 111 causes build piece 109 and powder bed 121 to drop by powder layer thickness 123, so that the top of the build piece and powder bed are lower than the top of powder bed receptacle wall 112 by an amount equal to the powder layer thickness. In this way, for example, a space with a consistent thickness equal to powder layer thickness 123 can be created over the tops of build piece 109 and powder bed 121.

[00023] FIG. 1C shows PBF system 100 at a stage in which depositor 101 is positioned to deposit powder 117 in a space created over the top surfaces of build piece 109 and powder bed 121 and bounded by powder bed receptacle walls 112. In this example, depositor 101 progressively moves over the defined space while releasing powder 117 from hopper 115. Level er 119 can level the released powder to form a powder layer 125 that has a thickness substantially equal to the powder layer thickness 123 (see FIG. 1B). Thus, the powder in a PBF system can be supported by a powder material support structure, which can include, for example, a build plate 107, a build floor 111, a build piece 109, walls 112, and the like. It should be noted that the illustrated thickness of powder layer 125 (i.e., powder layer thickness 123 (FIG. 1B)) is greater than an actual thickness used for the example involving 150 previously-deposited layers discussed above with reference to FIG. 1A.

[00024] FIG. 1D shows PBF system 100 at a stage in which, following the deposition of powder layer 125 (FIG. 1C), energy beam source 103 generates an energy beam 127 and deflector 105 applies the energy beam to fuse the next slice in build piece 109. In various exemplary embodiments, energy beam source 103 can be an electron beam source, in which case energy beam 127 constitutes an electron beam. Deflector 105 can include deflection plates that can generate an electric field or a magnetic field that selectively deflects the electron beam to cause the electron beam to scan across areas designated to be fused. In various embodiments, energy beam source 103 can be a laser, in which case energy beam 127 is a laser beam. Deflector 105 can include an optical system that uses reflection and/or refraction to manipulate the laser beam to scan selected areas to be fused.

[00025] In various embodiments, the deflector 105 can include one or more gimbals and actuators that can rotate and/or translate the energy beam source to position the energy beam. In various embodiments, energy beam source 103 and/or deflector 105 can modulate the energy beam, e.g., turn the energy beam on and off as the deflector scans so that the energy beam is applied only in the appropriate areas of the powder layer. For example, in various embodiments, the energy beam can be modulated by a digital signal processor (DSP).

[00026] FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating an example connection feature 200. The example connection feature 200 may be a node-to-node connection 202. The node-to-node connection 202 may be realized by a joint 204 including a single shear adhesive bond 222. The joint 204 including the single shear adhesive bond 222 may be a joining technique between additively manufactured nodes (e.g., first node 206, second node 208). The nodes 206, 208 may be fabricated with substantially flat features 210, 212 to facilitate adhesive bonding therebetween to form the connection (e.g., the single shear joint 204).

[00027] The basic steps to form the joint may be to additively manufacturing the two nodes

206, 208 with bonding features 224, 226 (e.g., of bond joint 204). Adhesive inlet ports and adhesive outlet ports (not shown) may be on either one or both of the nodes 206, 208. The adhesive and vacuum ports may be cylindrical connection points for adhesive and/or vacuum tubes. Adhesive may be injected through the inlet port, and the adhesive may flow into adhesive regions and flows out of the adhesive outlet port. An aspect may rely on the pressure of the adhesive injection. In another aspect, the adhesive outlet port may be connected to a vacuum port. The nodes 206, 208 may include sealing features 214. For example, the sealing feature 214 may be in one of the nodes 208.

[00028] The basic steps to form the joint may include applying the seals 216 (e.g., o-rings or other mechanical seals) to the sealing features 214 and fixturing the nodes 206, 208 for adhesive injection. The basic steps to form the joint may also include drawing a vacuum to evacuate a bonding region 218 to obtain a sealed section. Additionally, the basic steps to form the joint may include injecting adhesive through the adhesive port to fill the bonding region 218. The basic steps to form the joint may also include letting the adhesive cure to obtain the connection. The bonding region 218 may be formed by a bonding surface 232 of the first node 206 and a bonding surface 234 of the second node 208. The adhesive may be used for coupling the first bonding surface 232 to the second bonding surface 234. [00029] The example of FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-section of an example joint 204 including a single shear adhesive bond 222. In the cross-section, the first node 206 and the second node 208 may include bonding features 224, 226 (e.g., of bond joint 204). The bonding features 224, 226 (e.g., the substantially flat features 210, 212 of the bonding joint 204) may be parallel to each other. The substantially flat features 210, 212 may be oriented to the load path by a certain angle to enable initial fitment of the two nodes prior to the application of adhesive. In an aspect, the angle may be 1 degree. In an aspect, the angle may be less than 1 degree. In an aspect, the angle may be between 1 and 2 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 2 and 3 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 3 and 4 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 5 and 6 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 6 and 7 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 7 and 8 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 8 and 9 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 9 and 10 degrees. In an aspect, the angle may be between 1 and 10 degrees.

[00030] In an aspect, a slight angled (e.g., at angle Q) orientation may be designed in such a way that section of the adhesive bond 222 remains substantially parallel with the load path 220 to produce a connection with suitable mechanical properties.

[00031] FIG. 3 is a diagram 300 illustrating examples of features 302, 304 configured to accept sealants. The features 302 may be formed by a pair of nodes 306A, 306B. In another aspect, the features 304 configured to accept sealants may be present on one of the nodes 312B. The features 302, in one aspect, may be grooves in which O-Rings may be fitted. The O-Ring (see example O-ring profile 314) may form a loop around the surface of the second node 312B, e.g., within the grooves. In an aspect, one O-ring may be bent across four phases or sides of the node. The O-ring may be configured to form a bridge between two parts of the node. The bridge may allow adhesive to flow from one part of the node to another part of the node, e.g., between portions of the O-ring. For example, portions of the O-ring may seal around anode, while leaving a gap between the O-ring portions that may act as a bridge. The region 308 bound by the O-Ring may be an adhesive bond region between the two nodes 312A, 312B. The seal may provide a hermetically sealed environment (e.g., within adhesive bond region 310) for adhesive to be drawn into to realize the bond. Additionally, the seals (e.g., adhesive and/or O-ring) may serve as isolators to prevent physical contact of the two nodes 306A, 306B or the nodes 312A, 312B being joined, thereby reducing or eliminating the possibility of galvanic corrosion. [00032] A design consideration while designing O-Ring based seals may be to include bridging. As adhesive is drawn into the sealed section through the adhesive port, the adhesive may fill the sealed section and be drawn by the vacuum (e.g., drawn by a negative pressure source connected to a vacuum port). Bridges may ensure that the adhesive completely fills the sealed section (e.g., within adhesive bond region 310) and the fill process may continue in a smooth, stable manner.

[00033] In an aspect, a vacuum port and an adhesive port may be located on either one of the nodes 306, 312. Additively manufacturing the nodes 306, 312 may provide the ability to design ports and internal channels for the adhesive and vacuum to be filled (or drawn) through the channels to first evacuate the sealed chamber, and then to introduce adhesive into the chamber. These ports may be refered to as vacuum ports and/or vacuum ports. In some aspects, these vacuum ports and/or vacuum ports may be protrusions or recesses. Adhesive may be injected through the inlet port, and the adhesive may flow into adhesive regions and flows out of the adhesive outlet port. An aspect may rely on the pressure of the adhesive injection. In another aspect, the adhesive outlet port may be connected to a vacuum port.

[00034] FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating an example method in accordance with the systems and methods described herein. At 402, an apparatus implementing the method may manufacture a first node. The first node may have a first bonding surface. For example, an apparatus implementing the method may additively manufacture the first node 206. The first node 206 may have a first bonding surface 232. In an aspect, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5, below, may be configured to cause the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1 A-1D to additively manufacture a first node 206 having a first bonding surface 232.

[00035] At 404, an apparatus implementing the method may manufacture a second node having a second bonding surface. For example, an apparatus implementing the method may additively manufacture the second node 208 having the second bonding surface 234. In an aspect, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may be configured to cause the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D to additively manufacture a second node 208 having a second bonding surface 234.

[00036] At 406, an apparatus implementing the method may fixture the first node and the second node for adhesive injection. For example, an apparatus implementing the method may fixture the first node 206 for adhesive injection. The apparatus implementing the method may also fixture the second node 208 for adhesive injection. In an aspect, the assembly apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may be configured to cause an assembly apparatus to fixture the first node 206 and the second node 208 for adhesive injection.

[00037] At 408, an apparatus implementing the method may apply at least one seal. For example, an apparatus implementing the method may apply a plurality of seals. In an aspect, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may be configured to cause an assembly apparatus to apply at least one seal.

[00038] At 410, an apparatus implementing the method may draw a vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel. For example, an apparatus implementing the method may be connected to vacuum lines and may draw a vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel. In an aspect, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may be configured to cause an assembly apparatus to draw vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel. For example, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may cause a vacuum pump within an assembly apparatus to draw vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel in a node being manufactured.

[00039] At 412, an apparatus implementing the method may inject adhesive through a feature configured to accept an adhesive to fill a bonding region. The bonding region may be formed by a bonding surface of the first node and a bonding surface of the second node. The adhesive may be used for coupling the first bonding surface to the second bonding surface. For example, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may be configured to cause an assembly apparatus to inject adhesive through a feature configured to accept an adhesive to fill an bonding region 218. The bonding region 218 may be formed by a bonding surface 228 of the first node 206 and a bonding surface 230 of the second node 208. The adhesive may be used for coupling the first bonding surface 232 to the second bonding surface 232.

[00040] At 414, an apparatus implementing the method may let the adhesive cure. For example, an apparatus implementing the method may pause the manufacturing process or pause the manufacturing process with respect to a component to be cured to let the adhesive cure. In an aspect, the apparatus 500 discussed with respect to FIG. 5 may be configured to cause an assembly apparatus to let the adhesive cure. For example, the apparatus 500 may pause the manufacturing process or pause the manufacturing process with respect to a component to be cured to let the adhesive cure. [00041] The assembly apparatus may be one or more assembly apparatus configured to perform one or more of 506, 508, 510, 512, and/or 514.

[00042] FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating an apparatus 500 that may be configured to implement the systems and methods described herein, e.g., the method implemented in FIG. 4. For example, the apparatus 500 may be a processor 512 based control system that may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D. The apparatus 500 may include functional blocks that can represent functions implemented by a processor, software, hardware, or a combination thereof (e.g., firmware).

[00043] As illustrated, in FIG. 5, (and referring back to FIG. 2) in an aspect, the apparatus 500 may include a component 502 that controls the additively manufacture of a first node having a first bonding surface 232. For example, the component 502 may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D. In an aspect, the apparatus 500 may include a component 504 that controls the additively manufacture of a second node 208 having a second bonding surface. For example, the component 504 may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D. The components 502 and 504 may be separate components 502, 504 that may control one or more PBF systems 100. For example, two separate components 502, 504 may generally be used to control two PBF systems 100, i.e., one component 502, 504 for each PBF system 100. The components 502 and 504 may be a single component 520 that may control one or more PBF systems 100. For example, a single component 520 may generally be used to control a single PBF system, i.e., one component 520 for the PBF system 100.

[00044] The apparatus 500 may include a component 506 that controls the fixturing of the first node 206 and the second node 208 for adhesive injection. For example, the component 506 may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A- 1D to control fixturing. The apparatus 500 may include a component 508 that controls the draw of a vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel control. For example, the component 506 may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A- 1D to control drawing a vacuum. The apparatus 500 may include a component 510 that controls the injecting of adhesive through a feature configured to accept an adhesive control. For example, the component 510 may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D to control the injecting. The apparatus 500 may include a component (e.g., processor 512) that controls applying at least one seal. For example, the component (e.g., processor 512) may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D to control applying at least one seal. The apparatus 500 may include a component 514 that controls letting the adhesive cure. For example, the component 514 may control the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D to control curing.

[00045] In related aspects, the apparatus 500 may optionally include a processor component having at least one processor 516. The processor 516 may be in operative communication with the components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 520 or similar components via a bus 522 or similar communication coupling. The processor 516 may effect initiation and scheduling of the processes or functions performed by components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 520. The processor 516 may encompass the components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 520, in whole or in part. In the alternative, the processor 516 may be separate from the components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 518, 520, which may include one or more separate processors.

[00046] The apparatus 500 may optionally include a component for storing information, such as, for example, a memory device/component 518. The computer readable medium or the memory component 518 may be operatively coupled to the other components of the apparatus 500 via the bus 522 or the like. The memory component 518 may be adapted to store computer readable instructions and data for performing the activity of the components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 520, and subcomponents thereof, or the processor 516, or the methods disclosed herein. The memory component 518 may retain instructions for executing functions associated with the components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 520. While shown as being external to the memory component 518, it is to be understood that the components 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, 520 can exist within the memory component 518.

[00047] The means for additively manufacturing a first node 206 may have a first bonding surface 232 and the means for additively manufacturing a second node 208 having a second bonding surface may be one or more of the PBF system 100 discussed with respect to FIGS. 1A-1D. The means for fixturing the first node 206 and the second node 208 for adhesive injection may include a fixture configured to hold the first node 206 and the second node 208. The means for drawing a vacuum to evacuate an adhesive channel may include a vacuum pump or other pump capable of drawing a vacuum. The means for injecting adhesive through a feature configured to accept an adhesive to fill a bonding region may be an injection pump or some other type of pump capable of injecting adhesive. In an aspect, one or more of the means for fixturing, the means for drawing a vacuum, or the means for injecting adhesive may be incorporated into the PBF system 100 with the means for additively manufacturing a first node 206 having a first bonding surface 232 and the means for additively manufacturing a second node 208 having a second bonding surface.

[00048] In accordance with various aspects of the disclosure, an element, or any portion of an element, or any combination of elements may be implemented with a“processing system” that includes one or more processors. Examples of processors include microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors (DSPs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), state machines, gated logic, discrete hardware circuits, such as a custom application- specific integrated circuit (ASIC), and other suitable hardware configured to perform the various functionality described throughout this disclosure. One or more processors in the processing system may execute software. Software shall be construed broadly to mean instructions, instruction sets, code, code segments, program code, programs, subprograms, software modules, applications, software applications, software packages, routines, subroutines, objects, executables, threads of execution, procedures, functions, etc., whether referred to as software, firmware, middleware, microcode, hardware description language, or otherwise. The software may reside on a computer-readable medium. The computer-readable medium may be a non- transitory computer-readable medium. A non-transitory computer-readable medium includes, by way of example, a magnetic storage device (e.g., hard disk, floppy disk, magnetic strip), an optical disk (e.g., compact disk (CD), digital versatile disk (DVD)), a smart card, a flash memory device (e.g., card, stick, key drive), random access memory (RAM), read only memory (ROM), programmable ROM (PROM), erasable PROM (EPROM), electrically erasable PROM (EEPROM), a register, a removable disk, and any other suitable medium for storing software and/or instructions that may be accessed and read by a computer. The computer-readable medium may also include, by way of example, a carrier wave, a transmission line, and any other suitable medium for transmitting software and/or instructions that may be accessed and read by a computer. The computer-readable medium may be resident in the processing system, external to the processing system, or distributed across multiple entities including the processing system. The computer-readable medium may be implemented in a computer-program product. By way of example, a computer-program product may include a computer-readable medium in packaging materials. Those skilled in the art will recognize how best to implement the described functionality presented throughout this disclosure depending on the particular application and the overall design constraints imposed on the overall system.

[00049] It is to be understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the methods disclosed is for purpose of example, and not for limitation. Based upon design preferences, it is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the methods may be rearranged. The accompanying method claims present elements of the various steps in a sample order, and are not meant to be limited to the specific order or hierarchy presented unless specifically recited therein.

[00050] The previous description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the various aspects described herein. Various modifications to these aspects will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other aspects. Thus, the claims are not intended to be limited to the aspects shown herein, but is to be accorded the full scope consistent with the language of the claims, wherein reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless specifically so stated, but rather“one or more.” Unless specifically stated otherwise, the term“some” refers to one or more. A phrase referring to“at least one of’ a list of items refers to any combination of those items, including single members. As an example,“at least one of: a, b, or c” is intended to cover: a; b; c; a and b; a and c; b and c; and a, b and c. All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the various aspects described throughout this disclosure that are known or later come to be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the claims. Moreover, nothing disclosed herein is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether such disclosure is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase“means for” or, in the case of a method claim, the element is recited using the phrase“step for.”