Design and Analysis’ optimisation software allows us to set up iterative analysis solves to optimise the structure for stiffness, strength and weight. Using topology optimisation, we can erode the design space to leave the perfect structure to satisfy the design constraints and load cases. This is an ideal partner for use with additive manufacturing techniques (3 D Printing) to fully realise the ideal structure. By using special guidance parameters, the optimisation can be guided toward all common place manufacturing techniques such as extrusions, castings and machining.
In the video we see the topology optimisation of a lower control arm from a military truck. On the left you can see a frozen image of the element density and on the right an animated representation of the low element densities being slowly deleted to reveal the optimised form. The course nature of the deletions is a function of the element size used for the analysis. From these results we would adjust the CAD model of the lower control arm casting and then perform a final check run in the FEA. In this instance, the optimisation has been set to maintain a double-sided draft angle for practical manufacturing. We can adjust the method of optimisation to represent different manufacturing methods, i.e. for an extrusion it would only remove material from the extrusion wall thicknesses.