Structural optimization procedures usually start from a given design topology and vary proportions or boundary shapes of the design to achieve optimality of an objective under various constraints. This article presents examples of the application of a novel approach for initiating formal structural optimization at an earlier stage, where the design topology is rigorously generated. A three-phase design process is used. In Phase I, an optimal initial topology is created by a homogenization method as a gray-scale image. In Phase II, the image is transformed to a realizable design using computer vision techniques. In Phase III, the design is parameterized and treated in detail by conventional size and shape optimization techniques. Fully-automated procedures for optimization of two-dimensional solid structures are outlined, and several practical design problems for this type of structures are solved using the proposed procedure, including a crane hook and a bicycle frame.
Structural Configuration Examples of an Integrated Optimal Design Process
Chirehdast, M., Gea, H., Kikuchi, N., and Papalambros, P. Y. (December 1, 1994). "Structural Configuration Examples of an Integrated Optimal Design Process." ASME. J. Mech. Des. December 1994; 116(4): 997–1004. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2919510
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