What is Topology Optimization?
Topology optimization has come to be known as a method to numerically solve problems wherein the topology of a solid structure (and some other cases fluids too) gets determined. In the context of a structure, the method gives us the layout along with the detailed geometic form. It is called topology optimization because the tells us how many holes should be there for given quantitatve specifications. Usually, the specifications are nominal--just what an user can easily specify. Just from those, the algorithm can give the complete structural optimal form-- the topology, shape, and size. So, "topology optimization" is somewhat of a misnomer as gives more than topology. But then, in practice, topology is the most useful outcome of this method. Hence, the name has stuck.
In this course, the emphasis will be on topology optimization of stiff structures and compliant (flexible) mechanisms. The method itself is very general and applies to a number of problems.The course contents deals with problem formulation, design parameterization, sensitivity analysis, algorithms for solving the problem, and implementation.