Publications / Journal Article

Topology Optimization of Cellular Structure

Robbins, Joshua R.; Owen, Steven J.; Clark, Brett W.; Voth, Thomas E.

This paper presents an end-to-end design process for compliance minimization based topological optimization of cellular structures through to the realization of a final printed product. Homogenization is used to derive properties representative of these structures through direct numerical simulation of unit cell models of the underlying periodic structure. The resulting homogenized properties are then used assuming uniform distribution of the cellular structure to compute the final macro-scale structure. A new method is then presented for generating an STL representation of the final optimized part that is suitable for printing on typical industrial machines. Quite fine cellular structures are shown to be possible using this method as compared to other approaches that use nurb based CAD representations of the geometry. Finally, results are presented that illustrate the fine-scale stresses developed in the final macro-scale optimized part and suggestions are made as to incorporate these features into the overall optimization process.