A Shape Annealing Approach to Optimal Truss Design With Dynamic Grouping of Members

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Shea, J. Cagan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

S. J. Fenves

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

J. Mech. Des 119(3), 388-394 (Sep 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826360 History: Received March 01, 1996; Revised March 01, 1997; Online December 11, 2007


A shape annealing approach to truss topology design is presented that considers the tradeoff between the mass of the structure and the grouping of members, where all members of a group are given the same size. The problem of optimal grouping involves finding a structural design with an optimal number of groups and the optimal sizes for each group. In this paper cross-sectional area is considered as the measure of group size. Designs incorporating multiple members with the same cross-sectional area are advantageous when considering the cost of purchasing and fabricating materials. The shape annealing method is used as an approach to solve this problem by incorporating a method for dynamic grouping of members based on cross-sectional area that creates a tradeoff between mass and the number of groups through a weighted objective function that includes a group penalty function. This method is demonstrated on transmission tower and general truss problems.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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