Conventional manufacturing technologies limit the design of lightweight sandwich cores to homogenous topologies. The paper presents two case studies on the optimization of the structural performance of existing lightweight sandwich structures utilizing the design freedom given by additive manufacturing technologies. Both studies focus on the improvement of the sandwich core. In the first study, a novel adaptive core geometry is developed in order to improve the load introduction into the panel. The second study focuses on the improvement of the damping properties of the sandwich panel, as it is necessary to reduce resonant vibration. The voids in the honeycomb core are used to insert small particles in order to damp the structure.