The great group at DTU that gave us the online topology optimization tool, now published a topology optimization application for smartphones, available for both iOS and Android. We are looking forward to try it soon.
We came across a website devoted to Topology Optimization for MEMS (link). It is prepared by Mandy Philippine, who is a PhD student at Stanford at the moment.
In this 2009 article (link) Eddie Wadbro and Martin Berggren have described their topology optimization tool that can process very high resolution (Megapixel as they say) design spaces, using graphics processing units (GPU). GPU’s recently has surpassed CPU’s in the processing power that they pack, and we will probably see more and more usage of them in this computationally intensive field.
This article by Kou Xin et al. (link) studies a “Compliant Adaptive Leading Edge” for UAV wings. It is indicated that compliant trailing edges can enhance the lift-drag ratio by 5∼15%. A rather interesting aspect of the article is that the resulting structure is actually built out of aluminum and tested. I cannot recall seeing another example where a compliant structure was built out of metal. The results seem to be satisfactory, the deflected shape conforms to the aerodynamic goal set before.
However the fatigue life of the structure is not tested, which is crucial for such applications.
I this study dating 2004 (link) Ford used structural optimization to replace a polyamide bracket with an aluminum one. The polyamide bracket was getting more expensive due to the original manufacturers collapse. The analysis yielded a lighter, more rigid and cheaper aluminum bracket, with higher natural frequency. The project saves 1.1 M USD in the first year.
- The original bracket
This article discusses topology optimization of a sports car chassis (link), differences between coupe and open top, also various different combinations of load cases. The article is notable for its attention on load cases. As a car is quite complicated in terms of the possible load cases, and each combination of load cases lead to different topologies, the interpretation of the results apparently become quite hard.
This article shows us the utilization of topology optimization together with other forms of optimization to develop a lighter hood for Ferrari Italia (link). Many load-cases were used as mandated by Ferrari’s internal code. Interestingly non-structural glue is applied between the inner structure and outer hood (which is called the style in the article). Otherwise it is a usual article demonstrating usage of topology optimization.
This long text (link) elaborates the design process of an aluminium vehicle front section, using topology optimization as a tool. Crash performance is especially inspected. We did not have enough time to read the article thoroughly so that’s all for now.
This nice presentation (link) shows us the wonderful BIW of BMW 5 GT. This is the first family car BIW that I have seen that has so many indications of being topology optimized. Just look at the following picture to see what I mean:
The fron section with all those struts and interestingly shaped structures is evidently the most direct application of big scale topology optimization in any family car. As a result it has a very high torsional rigidity of 31500 Nm/° higher than some supercar’s rigidity. Also the variety of materials used in the body is interesting. 14 types of steel and 7 types of aluminum alloys are used, seemingly utilizing the most suited material in wherever needed. The BIW is mostly steel with aluminum body panels.
Weight reduction of a compact car’s front section was studied in this article (link). Using topology optimization, and interpreting the results in two different ways, one cost effective and one weight optimized structure is developed. Cost effective structure uses mostly steel and some Al extrusions. Weight optimized one uses lots of aluminium, steel where necessary and magnesium for strut towers. Wheelhouses in both concepts are made of plastic. Respectively %18 and %38 weight reductions are reported. Also %7 and %31 cost increase is observed.