Bringing Innovation to Traditional Manufacturing in The World of 3D Printing

by Hedison Mui

What is Topology Optimization?

So, what is Topology optimization and how can this help us innovate our designs? Simply put, Topology Optimization is a mathematical approach that optimizes material placement within a given design space based on loads and boundary conditions to achieve certain performance goals such as weight reduction and/or stiffness.

There are many examples of organic lightweight structures that have been designed for different verticals including automotive and aerospace using 3D printing. If 3D Printing is used as a manufacturing method, new constraints like overhang angles for support need to be considered.

Design Considerations

As we design products, we are often faced with many factors to consider such as material cost, manufacturing cost, testing and validation cost and development time. For instance, some parts might be a good candidate for additive manufacturing if quantities are low. Other parts might require higher volume where a casted part might fit the bill better but manufacturing and tool development can increase your lead time considerably.

As designers and engineers, we must consider all these factors. So, how do we innovate? How can we explore different designs and concepts? How can we understand designs better, and make tradeoffs in manufacturability and performance?

Altair lets you create lightweight designs using Topology Optimization while taking 3D Printing constraints like overhang angles or casting constraints like draw direction. Altair has been the leader in generative design since the late 90’s with its structural solver and optimizer Optistruct. Whether you are designing a part for casting, machining, or 3D printing, Altair Inspire users can leverage this technology to conceptualize designs for all these manufacturing processes while understanding performance, weight, cost, and manufacturability tradeoffs.

Join Altair and GoEngineer for a special event presentation of this new platform on November 7th, 2018 in Dallas, TX, and get Inspired to Innovate! Register for the event here:

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