Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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SIMPATY – topology optimization for free-form design

3D printingAdditive Layer ManufacturingFinite element modelingIndustrial designstampa 3DTopology optimization

Introduction

This invention consists of a mathematical algorithm to be employed in a finite element setting for the topology optimization of mechanical components. The resulting configurations are characterized by lightness and high structural performances, while presenting free-form features particularly suited for 3D printing and Additive Layer Manufacturing processes.

Technical features

Simpaty consists of an innovative topology optimization technique, particularly suited for industrial design. This technology combines a standard structural optimization method, the SIMP (Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization), with an advanced technique for the adaptation of the computational grid for the finite element (FE) simulations. The employed procedure results in an smart tessellation of the domain by properly tuning the shape, the size, and the orientation of the mesh elements. This allows us to accurately catch the directional features of quantities of interest (e.g., density distribution, stresses and displacement of the structure, applied loads). This method lowers the computational burden of the FE simulations with respect to a standard optimization (e.g., via SIMP or level set methods). The resulting configurations are characterized by lightness, optimal stiffness, and smooth surfaces, even without the massive employment of post-processing techniques, which are usually implemented in structural optimization algorithms.

Possible Applications

Sectors of industrial design, such as:

  • Biomedical;
  • Automotive;
  • Aerospace;
  • Architecture;
  • Fashion and design.

Advantages

  • Reduced computational costs;
  • Resulting structures characterized by smooth surfaces;
  • Minimal post-processing of the optimized design;
  • Light structures and optimized compliance.