Title: Topshape: an attempt to create design proposals including manufacturing constraints

Authors: Lothar Harzheim, Gerhard Graf

Addresses: Advanced Engineering - Optimisation, Vehicle Development and Simulation, Chassis Structure Analysis, Adam Opel AG, International Technical Development Centre, D-65423 Russelsheim, Germany. Adam Opel AG, International Technical Development Centre, D-65423 Russelsheim, Germany.

Abstract: Topology optimisation has been proved to be a very effective tool in the early stage of the development process, in particular for cast parts. Nevertheless, the interpretation of the design proposals is often very difficult because there are no manufacturing restrictions included in the optimisation algorithms. In particular, the tendency to create hollow proposals with a lot of holes makes it difficult to create components which can be manufactured. The program TopShape has been developed to attempt to take manufacturing constraints into account. It is a synthesis of programs for shape optimisation (CAO) and topology optimisation (SKO). The component design is described by means of a density distribution as in topology optimisation, whereas the algorithm defining how to modify the shape is taken from the shape optimisation area. Furthermore, algorithms have been added to ensure the connectivity of the model and to prevent the creation of holes. Hence, the topology remains unchanged during the optimisation process and the tendency to create a hollow design is suppressed. The resulting method is a very flexible shape optimisation method, in which the result is not a very detailed design but a rough proposal, which is now easier to interpret. In this paper, results will be shown to demonstrate the method. In addition, options such as minimum thickness control, prescribed slide directions and the extension to frequency problems will be discussed.

Keywords: topology optimisation; biological growth rule; manufacturing constraints,; prescribed slide directions; very flexible shape optimisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2002.001997

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2002 Vol.28 No.4, pp.389-409

Available online: 15 Aug 2003 *

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