Current Key Capabilities of Plato

Compliance minimization

Plato provides a robust volume-constrained compliance minimization capability based on Sandia’s Sierra Structural Dynamics production level physics code.

Smooth, well connected results

Plato generates optimized designs that are well-connected and smooth. There is typically no post smoothing or "connecting" needed before sending a Plato design to the 3D printer. Plato uses a nodal-based density approach in conjunction with smoothing at each optimization iteration to achieve this.

High performance computing (HPC) enabled topology optimization

Plato components are written with HPC (distributed memory platforms) in mind from the very beginning. Plato optimization runs have been demonstrated on hundreds of cores and the underlying physics codes have demonstrated good scaling on 10’s of thousands of cores. The Plato team will continue to focus on scalability as a critical component as the capabilities include more complex physics and more complex design problems. This Plato user interface provides a simple user-interface for submitting jobs on HPC systems.

Mesh pruning and refining

Plato includes a capability for automatically pruning and refining the computational mesh to reduce problem size and increase design fidelity. This allows the user to generate higher fidelity designs at a fraction of the computational cost.


Plato provides a capability for stopping an optimization run, adjusting parameters, and then resuming the optimization where it left off. This capability has proven very useful for exploring the design space by “steering” the optimization through input parameter adjustments.