Topology optimization involves finding the optimal material distribution within a predefined volume given a set of loading conditions, constraints and objectives. Many designs based on topology optimization can be manufactured thanks to the flexibility of additive manufacturing, making the optimization technique an attractive option.
It is worth noting that topology optimization produces a material layout that is optimal for the load cases that have been considered. There is a good chance that the design will failure when exposed to load cases not considered in the optimization. As a result it is critical that all load cases are accounted for in the analysis. This means that successful topology optimization requires careful planning and engineering insight.
In this tutorial the process of performing a topology optimization for a simple bridge structure will be illustrated. The objective is to minimize the mass of the bridge while keeping the deflection less than 1mm.
The design volume, load and boundary conditions used for this tutorial are illustrated in the image below.
This is a 7 parts tutorial that includes the following:
1. Geometry creation - simple bridge shape
2. Mesh the bridge geometry
3. Apply material properties
4. Apply Loads and constraints
5. Setup and Run the analysis
6. Postprocessing results
7. Animate the optimization iterations
To begin, start with Topology optimization of a Bridge Structure - Part 1: Geometry creation