Topology Optimisation comes from the Greek Topos (place) and Logos (study). Freely interpretated this means the study of optimally placing matter.
Nature is one of our inspiration sources when it comes to lightweight design. Not only do we look closely at what nature is doing (Biomimicry), but we also use nature based algorithmes to optimise our designs. Topology Optimisation is such an algorithm based tool, based upon a nature inspired bone growing algorithm. With Topology Optimisation , we can minimise material use while still maintaining or even improving performance.
A typical example is to minimize the amount of material (or weight) used for a component given certain stiffness and strength requirements. The method is an ideal fit with additive manufacturing (AM), as it provides a means for intelligently exploiting the design freedom. However we use Topology Optimisation also to improve conventional manufacted products and structures.
The Benefits of Topology Optimisation
Topology Optimisation will show the load path in your construction. Very usefull to position reiforcements or to define fiber placement.
Weight saving is one of the often discussed benefits of using Topology Optimisation. Lightweight can increase the speed of your production line, improve the dynamics of your vehicle, increase payload and minimise energy use and CO2 emissions. A lightweight part is also efficient during production, since it requires less material to be used.
The benefits of Topology Optimisation go beyond weight saving however. It can be used to create components with a specific stiffness or specific eigen frequency. Ideal to tune a system in terms of eigen frequency.