Higher-order multi-resolution topology optimization using the finite cell method

Jeroen Peter Groen, Matthijs Langelaar, Ole Sigmund, Martin Ruess

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    This article presents a detailed study on the potential and limitations of performing higher-order multi-resolution topology optimization with the finite cell method. To circumvent stiffness overestimation in high-contrast topologies, a length-scale is applied on the solution using filter methods. The relations between stiffness overestimation, the analysis system, and the applied length-scale are examined, while a high-resolution topology is maintained. The computational cost associated with nested topology optimization is reduced significantly compared with the use of first-order finite elements. This reduction is caused by exploiting the decoupling of density and analysis mesh, and by condensing the higher-order modes out of the stiffness matrix.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)903–920
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Topology optimization
    • Finite cell method
    • Method; higher-order FEM


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