What does it mean to topology optimize ?

That topology optimists will basically say to determine a construction's context from a set of prescribed rules. It can be understood as distributing material for the most optimal construction.

Topology optimization is based on advanced FEM (Finite Element Methods) used in structural analysis. By using FEM, the structure is divided into infinitely many small elements, giving a knowledge of the structure's response to a given influence. In topology optimization, it is assumed that the density (density) of the individual element may vary between 0 and 1, ie. from no material to solid material.

In this way one can describe the stiffness as a function of the material density. This relationship between the material density and the stiffness as well as a sensitivity analysis (analysis of how a small disturbance affects the response) makes it possible to determine how and where the material should be placed.

Topology optimization is a mathematical method for optimizing the mass distribution in relation to the strength of a product and then 3D printing has given the method a push forward.

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