Bilal Taha

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Brian Dennis


The performance of a heat sink is highly dependent on the overall surface area available for heat transfer. Designing heat sinks with greater surface areas meant bigger size, weight, and volume of heat-exchanger thus making it unfeasible to produce. Design and manufacture of compact-sized heat sinks is a difficult task, as it would require the use of complex surface modeling and complex surface cutting. But with the advent of 3D printing technology, it has become easier to manufacture heat sinks having complex designs producing larger surface areas as they add material layer by layer rather than cutting it away. The focus of this thesis is to design, manufacture and evaluate the thermal performance of 3D printed heat sinks. A unique method of carrying out thermal topology optimization on cylindrical heat sinks using ANSYS workbench has been discussed. The results from the topology optimization have been used to achieve complex designs. A comparative study was carried out between the topology optimized designs and the conventional straight fin heat sink design to analyze their thermal performance using steady-state thermal analysis. The designs were then 3D printed on a Lultz-Bot 3D printer using a copper-PLA filament. To achieve parts made of pure copper, The sintering process was carried out and various sintering techniques were explored to combat issues like oxidations, loss of structural integrity, and porosity in the sintered parts. The results from the initial validation study showed that the optimized design performed better. It reduced the heater temperature 12% more than the conventional design Results from the sintering process showed that the really good sintered parts were achieved when sintering was done in a vacuum environment at 1070C and above for longer periods. Lastly, experimental setups were designed using N2 gas tanks, heaters, and cylindrical tubes to simulate the flow of fluid through the heat sink and study its performance. Effective thermal conductivity was calculated and studied. The pressure drop was measured to be around 26 pascals.


Additive manufacturing, Fused deposition molding, Topology optimization


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington