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Shape and Topology Optimization With Medial Zones

[+] Author Affiliations
Ata A. Eftekharian, Horea T. Ilieş

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Paper No. DETC2011-48363, pp. 687-696; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 37th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5482-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Shape optimization (with topological changes) has become a de facto standard approach for synthesizing new designs. Current approaches heavily rely on voxelized modifications of the initial domain, followed by heuristic reconstruction procedures that result in a detailed shape design. The initial domain is almost always conservatively estimated so that the design space spans a sufficiently large set of possible solutions. We propose a novel approach to shape optimization that exploits the geometric and topologic properties of medial zones and a new shape modification paradigm to synthesize shapes with topological guarantees. The medial zone is a ‘thick skeleton’ of the domain induced by prescribed boundary conditions, and represents an initial solution that is topologically valid. We modify such an initial solution by adding or subtracting ‘bubbles’ of material defined via prescribed shape functions. The proposed approach has many advantages in terms of topological guarantees, shape control, and computational cost, supports parametric optimization of free-form geometry, and can be implemented in any geometric representation that supports distance computations.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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