Simultaneous topology optimization of structures and supports

Thomas Buhl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a method for and the benefits of simultaneously designing structure and support distribution using topology optimization. The support conditions are included in the topology optimization by introducing, a new set of design variables that represents supported areas. The method is applied to compliance minimization and mechanism design. In the case of mechanism design, the large displacements of the mechanism are modelled using geometrically nonlinear FE-analysis.

Examples with minimization of the compliance demonstrate the effects of using variable cost of supports in a design domain. Other examples show that more efficient mechanisms are obtained by introducing the support conditions in the topology optimization problem.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)336-346
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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