Topology Optimization

Unless it has been topologically optimized, every part in an assembly probably weighs more than it needs to. Extra weight means excess materials are being used, loads on moving parts are higher than necessary, energy efficiency is being compromised and shipping the part costs more. Now, with Topology Optimization technology, ANSYS Mechanical gives you the tools you need to design durable, lightweight components for any application. You can define objectives easily and apply controls to ensure that manufacturing requirements are met, minimum material thicknesses are set and exclusion areas are defined.

Traditional design approaches don’t make the most of new manufacturing methods, like additive manufacturing, which are removing design constraints and opening up new possibilities. The optimal shape of a part is often organic and counterintuitive, so designing it requires a different approach. Topology optimization lets you specify where supports and loads are located on a volume of material and lets the software find the best shape. You can now easily perform lightweighting of structures, extract CAD shapes and quickly verify the optimized design. You can also simulate spatially dependent materials like composite parts, 3-D printed components, and bones and tissues for more accurate results.

ANSYS Mechanical has built-in topology optimization so engineers can easily determine where material can be removed for effective lightweighting of components.

ANSYS Topology Optimization Upgrades Designs to Take Full Advantage of 3-D Printing - Application Brief

Most design projects begin with a basic idea of what the design should look like. The design is typically optimized by making incremental changes, such as adjusting the size or thickness of features to optimize characteristics like strength, weight, size and manufacturing cost. Product designers usually don’t even consider starting with a blank sheet of paper because of the impracticability of manufacturing random shapes and the time and cost that would be required to totally rethink the design. The innovation of 3-D printing has changed the design landscape by making it possible to build virtually any shape without regard for design for manufacturability rules. Now ANSYS provides designers with the tool they need to take full advantage of these capabilities — automated topology optimization integrated with its full suite of multiphysics software. The new ANSYS topology optimizer dramatically reduces the engineering cost and lead time required to design a new generation of parts or products that are optimized to reduce weight and manufacturing cost while delivering the same performance as the current generation.