Topology optimization: how does it benefit designers?

Written by: SOLIDWORKS | Published: 05/20

In an increasingly global market, competitive pressures create demands on manufacturing organizations for increased innovation, automation, and throughput across every department, but especially product development.

These demands are already affecting the work of designers, with greater expectations for more complete designs with few, if any, performance or manufacturability surprises encountered late in the product development process. Delivering higher fidelity designs earlier in the process puts additional demands on you as a designer that require you to work faster and smarter by extending your design toolbox to include SOLIDWORKS CAD-integrated topology optimization tools.

Save Time and Improve Designs Simultaneously

Using topology studies will help you design more innovative, safer, better-performing, and less-costly-to-manufacture parts faster and more consistently because it enables you to skip some of the time-consuming aspects of initial design and factor in desired performance and manufacturability. By automatically generating a model of the optimal shape for your specific

design requirements, topology optimization enables you to start work on an existing model, allowing you to spend your time focusing on design refinement rather than model creation. Topology studies also help you eliminate guesswork associated with avoiding design performance and manufacturability issues because they will have already been addressed as part of the optimization loop. SOLIDWORKS topology optimization will not only give you greater confidence in the validity of individual designs - it will also enable you to create more designs of higher quality without working longer.

Creating Smaller, Lighter-Weight Components

In addition to helping you save time and improve design performance, SOLIDWORKS topology optimization will bolster efforts to create smaller, lighter-weight components. Minimizing mass is important for designers affected by the ongoing trend towards miniaturization, with some consumer products continuing to get smaller and smaller. Reducing component weight and cutting material usage also have long been goals in many industries, such as automotive and aerospace. By giving you the ability to optimize your design to the best stiffness-to-mass ratio or to minimize mass—and thereby weight—using maximum allowable displacement as a constraint, topology optimization automates your efforts to create smaller, lighter-weight components, or those that use less material.

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