Nearly all components of technical structures can be improved by application of structural optimization strategies. The FEMopt Studios offer a broad application field of structural optmization methods to their customers. These methods allow for a specific consideration of our customers requirements. Our customers gain multiple benefits from our services, e.g.

  • The Optimization results support our customers in the development process. Our solutions improve the product from the early to the late phase of the design process.
  • The consideration of the optimization results allows for highly efficient designs without hidden redundancies. Furthermore the number of development cycles can be reduced significantly.
  • The high automation level of the methods results in fast and efficient exploration of design alternatives. This improves the design knowledge and ensures a sustainable design process.

Application of structural optimization methods during the design process results in better products, cost reduction and shorter development times!

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Why new optimization strategies?

Methods of structural optimization are applied in product design since many years. In general, the methods are separated in Sizing, Shape and Topology Optimization respectively. Topology optimization is the most frequently used method caused by the fact that the modeling of a topology optimization problem is relatively easy. The main reason for that is that topology optimization does not distinguish between geometry and analysis model. Geometry and topology description as well as the definition of the structural analysis model are based on the FE-Model.

Shape optimization

The goal of shape optimization is the modification of the geometry such that the optimization problem is solved in the best possible way. Famous objectives are weight minimization, stiffness maximization, modification of eigenfrequencies, or minimization of stresses.

Shape optimization of casted structures.

Reduction of surface stresses by shape optimization

In the optimization algorithms available so far it is necessary to specify the shape of the model by a separate parameterization step. In this time consuming and complex procedure a specific geometry model is defined that describes structural shape, e.g. by CAD data or Shape Basis Vectors. Morphing boxes are often utilized to specify these shape basis vectors. However, the definition of a proper parameterization requires the knowledge of the optimal geometry. Otherwise it cannot be ensured that the parameterization is able to reflect the optimal geometry. Of course the optimal geometry is a priori unknown. This results in a time consuming procedure of iterative reparameterization steps until a proper parameterization is found. These reparameterization steps are often neglected because of short development times. But this yields to a loss of structural performance.

Another class of shape optimization methods apply Optimality Criterions (OC-Methods) to improve structural properties. The basic disadvantage of OC-Methods is their restricted applicability. A flexible combination of objectives and constraints is not possible.

The time consuming and complex parameterization step and the limitations of OC-Methods are mainly responsible that shape optimization is rarely applied in industry. But it is well known that shape optimization provides valuable support in complex design processes.

Bead optimization

Bead optimization is a specific application of shape optimization where thin shell structures are strengthened by proper draw beads. The optimization packages available so far contain special bead optimization strategies. The Topography Optimization methods use a fixed grid of shape basis vectors to model design modifications. The resulting bead geometries show serious deficiencies in mesh quality which disturbs the quality of FE-results significantly.

The bead optimization by OC-Methods is not able to represent the complex load carrying mechanisms of shell structures (e.g. in plane shear). This influences the optimization results significantly.

The following sections present innovative methods for structural shape optimization. These methods are developed at the Chair of Structural Analysis at the Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen. The goals of the research activities are new optimization strategies that overcome the disadvantages of separate geometry models and OC-Methods. These objectives where achieved by a new approach for structural optimization methods. The resulting optimization strategies are implemented in the software package Carat++ developed by the the FEMopt Studios GmbH. These methods are continuously improved and are applied to industrial optimization projects.

Bead optimization of car components

Bead optimization of car body components.

A detailed introduction into our innovative optimization strategies is presented here. Please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require further information.