Topology Optimized Design Methodology to Suit Additive Manufacturing Process 2019-01-2597
The selection of component material and design is an important topic in the manufacturing industry to produce sustainable and competitive products. The efficiency of the system is directly related to the weight of the components in that system. Topology optimization is an optimization method that employs mathematical tools to optimize material distribution in a part to be designed. It is the subfield of structural optimization process which is widely usable in the component development process. Conventional machining, which can be described as subtractive, imposes constraints on a design and can hence be described as a design driven by technology. Additive manufacturing (AM), on the other hand, can be described as technology driven by design. It is possible to manufacture any complex shape without technological constraints using AM. The cons aspect of additive manufacturing is its adaptability to mass production due to its repeatability. Realization of topology optimization through additive manufacturing provides full design freedom for design engineers. This paper discusses the application of topology optimization to parts designed for AM, highlighting the main practical difficulties and opportunities along with the significance of identifying the cost-driven features during the preliminary/conceptual design phase of the component. This article focuses on a design approach with a case study on the redesign of a component by developing a methodology with respect to topology optimization by considering weight and manufacturability as constraints. The structural optimization work is carried out in commercial software Altair Solidthinking (Inspire) and ANSYS. The study results of structural analysis show that topology optimization is a powerful design technique to reduce the weight of a product while maintaining the design requirements.