What is Topology optimization?
Topology optimization is a process that optimizes material layout and structure within a given 3D geometrical design space for a defined set of rules set by the user. The goal is to maximise the performance of the system by mathematically modelling and optimizing for external forces, boundary condition and constraints. Conventional Topology optimization uses the finite element method to evaluate the design performance against defined criteria.
Although topology optimization has a wide range of application across engineering product design, currently its mostly used at the design stage to optimize the size and shape. This is mainly because the free forms that naturally occur through Topology optimization(TO) are often very difficult to manufacture using traditional manufacturing methods.
But due to growth and technological advancement in additive manufacturing or so-called 3D printing, the design output by Topology optimization can be fed directly into a 3D printer. ( Read how 3D printing works in 7 easy steps here)