Length scale and manufacturability in density-based topology optimization

Boyan Stefanov Lazarov, Fengwen Wang, Ole Sigmund

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Since its original introduction in structural design, density-based topology optimization has been applied to a number of other fields such as microelectromechanical systems, photonics, acoustics and fluid mechanics. The methodology has been well accepted in industrial design processes where it can provide competitive designs in terms of cost, materials and functionality under a wide set of constraints. However, the optimized topologies are often considered as conceptual due to loosely defined topologies and the need of postprocessing. Subsequent amendments can affect the optimized design performance and in many cases can completely destroy the optimality of the solution. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to review recent advancements in obtaining manufacturable topology-optimized designs. The focus is on methods for imposing minimum and maximum length scales, and ensuring manufacturable, well-defined designs with robust performances. The overview discusses the limitations, the advantages and the associated computational costs. The review is completed with optimized designs for minimum compliance, mechanism design and heat transfer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchive of Applied Mechanics
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)189-218
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Length scale
  • Manufacturability
  • Regularization
  • Topology optimization


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