Numerical and Experimental Verification of Optimum Design Obtained from Topology Optimization 2003-01-1333
The objective of this research is to verify the optimum design obtained from a topology optimization process. The verification is through both numerical analysis and physical test. It will be shown that the optimum topology obtained from an example topology optimization process is independent of the material used and the dimension/size of the structure. This important feature is then proved for more general cases through theoretical analyses, numerical simulations, and physical experiments. The result extends the applicability of the optimum design and simplifies the prototyping and test process thus will result in significant cost saving in building full-size prototypes and performing expensive tests. This work is a combined effort with theoretical, numerical and experimental methods. A multi-domain multi-step topology optimization technique  will be utilized to find the optimum structural design. The optimum design is then processed as input for a rapid prototyping machine to obtain specimens for experimental investigation. The experimental measurements are then compared with the theoretical and numerical results. The goal of this research is to develop a systematic verification tool that can be used to investigate the optimality of the design in a general, efficient, and cost-effective way.