Technical Briefs

Methodology and Tools to Support Knowledge Management in Topology Optimization

[+] Author and Article Information
Maurizio Muzzupappa

Dipartimento di Meccanica, Università della Calabria, 87030 Rende (CS), Italymuzzupappa@unical.it

Loris Barbieri, Fabio Bruno

Dipartimento di Meccanica, Università della Calabria, 87030 Rende (CS), Italy

Umberto Cugini

Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, 20156 Milano, Italyumberto.cugini@polimi.it

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 10(4), 044503 (Nov 23, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3518386 History: Received November 26, 2008; Revised August 02, 2010; Published November 23, 2010; Online November 23, 2010

Topological optimization (TO) tools are today widely employed in several engineering fields (e.g., construction, aeronautics, aerospace, and automotive). The diffusion of these tools is due to their capacity to improve mechanical properties of products through a global optimization of the product in terms of weight, stiffness, strength, and cost. On the other hand, the adoption of TO tools still requires a sizeable organizational effort because, at present, these tools are mostly stand-alone and are not well integrated into the product development process (PDP). This paper presents an innovative methodology that supports designers and analysts in formalizing and transmitting design choices taken during project activities and in making the integration of TO tools in the PDP more efficient. The methodology clearly defines the roles, the activities, the data to exchange, and the software tools to be used in the process. Some custom computer-aided design automation tools have been implemented to improve the efficiency of the methodology. Moreover, this paper defines an original procedure to support the interpretation of the TO results.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Traditional methodology

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Figure 2

The methodology and implemented tools

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Figure 3

Initial modeling phase for the creation of the model to optimize according two different approaches: (a) simple sketch geometry and (b) using a “geometry library interface”

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Figure 4

Creating the model and managing information through the implemented interfaces

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Figure 5

(a) Checking the optimized model and extracting reference planes and curves, (b) extraction of profiles, and (c) data analysis (section area versus radial distance)

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Figure 6

Analysis of optimized section: (a) generic section with minor and maximum distances, (b) ellipse 1 (its major axis coincides with the major distance) and ellipse 2 (its minor axis coincides with the minor distance), and (c) graph and table of the data analyzed

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Figure 7

(a) Exporting data to SolidWorks; (b) invariant geometries, sections, and profiles in CAD environment; and (c) feature based modeling of the wheel



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