Structural Configuration Examples of an Integrated Optimal Design Process

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Chirehdast, H.-C. Gea, N. Kikuchi, P. Y. Papalambros

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

J. Mech. Des 116(4), 997-1004 (Dec 01, 1994) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2919510 History: Received June 01, 1993; Revised October 01, 1993; Online June 02, 2008


Structural optimization procedures usually start from a given design topology and vary proportions or boundary shapes of the design to achieve optimality of an objective under various constraints. This article presents examples of the application of a novel approach for initiating formal structural optimization at an earlier stage, where the design topology is rigorously generated. A three-phase design process is used. In Phase I, an optimal initial topology is created by a homogenization method as a gray-scale image. In Phase II, the image is transformed to a realizable design using computer vision techniques. In Phase III, the design is parameterized and treated in detail by conventional size and shape optimization techniques. Fully-automated procedures for optimization of two-dimensional solid structures are outlined, and several practical design problems for this type of structures are solved using the proposed procedure, including a crane hook and a bicycle frame.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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