Simpaty: topology optimization for free-form design

Professors Simona Perotto and Stefano Micheletti, in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space Italia, at MOX Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano have developed a new mathematical algorithm, named Simpaty, that can be employed in a finite element setting for the topology optimization of mechanical components. The resulting configurations are characterized by lightness and high structural performances, while exhibiting free-form features particularly suited for 3D printing and Additive Layer Manufacturing processes.

3D cantilever beam optimized with Simpaty

Simpaty technology combines a standard structural optimization method, the SIMP (Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization), with an advanced technique for the adaptation of the computational grid. The employed procedure results in an smart tessellation of the domain by properly tuning the shape, the size, and the orientation of the mesh elements. This allows us to accurately catch the directional features of quantities of interest (e.g., density distribution, stresses and displacement of the structure, applied loads).

3D dome optimized with Simpaty

As a result, the computational burden of the finite element simulations is lowered with respect to a standard optimization and the resulting configurations are characterized by lightness, optimal stiffness, and smooth surfaces, even without the massive employment of post-processing techniques.

3D microstructure pattern optimizing the structure stiffness