Geometric Design Optimization – From Mega-Planes to Nano-Optics
By Professor, Villum Investigator, Ole Sigmund, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Advances in manufacturing methods, ranging from large-scale additive manufacturing (AM) methods to nano-scale lithography techniques, allow for fabrication of structures and devices with virtually unlimited geometric freedom. With appropriate design techniques, this geometrical freedom may be converted to all kinds of improved products and devices. Examples could be weight or cost savings in mechanical structures, tailored acoustic sound fields, and new or improved functionalities in micro- or nano-scale optical and mechanical devices.
A design technique that solves problems with unlimited geometric freedom and hence may take full advantage of the advanced manufacturing techniques discussed above is Topology Optimization (TO). TO is a numerical design technique that solves the ultimate design problem: given an empty space (design domain); find the pointwise material distribution that optimizes certain objective and constraint functions. An example is: given the outer shape of an airplane wing; find the lightest possible internal reinforcement that ensures safe flight. TO solves such problems based on repeated numerical simulations of the mechanical response, gradient computations, and deterministic design updates based on mathematical programming techniques.
The talk gives an introduction to TO, its recent developments within multiscale techniques as well as its interplay with AM and other advanced manufacturing technologies. Application examples will include design of a full-scale Boing 777 wing-structure, cooling fins for LED lamps, tailoring of counterintuitive acoustic sound fields and design of plasmonic structures for improvement of solar cells.
Read more about Professor Ole Sigmund