Imagine a simple beam that needs to carry a single load. Engineers can typically draw upon experience to propose a workable solution. But when faced with a complex part, packaged into a tight space, that needs to carry multiple loads, they could use a helping hand.
Rather than validating an existing design, topology optimization uses physics to enhance human creativity by proposing forms that can be easily evolved into a finished product. It enables rapid design exploration and improved development productivity, all the while flagging opportunities for part consolidation.
Engineers can apply manufacturing constraints at the beginning stages of design, including material, extrusion, symmetry, draw direction, cavity avoidance, and overhand angle. They can define where structure can and cannot be, and apply the expected loads that the part will see in use. Topology optimization takes it from there, generating optimal, manufacturable structures that meet performance objectives with minimum mass or maximum stiffness.