Using a virtual skeleton to increase printability of topology optimized design for industry-class applications

Yoram Mass, Oded Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article broadens the scheme previously developed to associate topology optimization with additive manufacturing through the use of a virtual skeleton, consisting in solving the same physical problem with a discrete approach and then with a continuum one. This procedure for 3D designs is applied to various domain geometries, to demonstrate its pertinence on high-resolution industrial cases. An algorithm searching for the best printing direction, exploring the solid angle, is also described and validated; the surface-shaped presentation of the result allows immediate understanding of the influence of the discrete problem parameters, while its running time is much lower than a unique continuum optimization simulation, which proves the attractiveness of the method. In the three examples studied, the procedure outputs exhibit greater printability than the ones produced by traditional methods in each of the printing direction tested, albeit responsibility is left to the final user to choose his best trade-off. Furthermore, the unprintable zones are readily displayed to be either reworked or supported. Explanations about increase of convergence likelihood on discrete structures despite the geometry complexity of an industrial application are also provided and demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1121
Number of pages18
JournalComptes Rendus - Mecanique
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • 3-D design
  • 3-D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Overhang angles
  • Topology Optimization
  • Virtual skeleton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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