The Secrets of Topology Optimization

Get a clear understanding of how to optimize for weight. Learn about the algorithms, trusses, the force cone method, and more!

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Book cover

​What will you learn?

Chapter 01


Learn the fundamental laws that govern lightweight designs. You will get insights from how it is done in nature. Also, you will learn the main categories of topology optimization and when to use them.

  • Thinking in terms of ropes and supports
  • The Three Types of Optimization
  • The Law of Uniform Stress
Animation showing topology optimization of a truss

Chapter 02


Learn the classical and modern techniques to create light-weight structures. Trusses are relevant for large scale structures and regular machine parts.

  • The 5 Michell Trusses
  • Orthogonality
  • Layout Optimization
  • Computer Tools for Truss Design

Chapter 03

The Force Cone Method

Learn how to do topology optimization by hand. Yes, pen and paper! Use simple geometry to create lightweight topology. This method is very useful during the concept stage of development, and will give you an intuitive understanding of topology.

  • The Theory
  • Rounding of Force Paths
  • Central Vertical Force
  • Central Horizontal Force
  • Non-Central Force
  • Rolling supports
  • Angled Force
  • Distributed Loads
  • Support Selection
  • Case Study
Force cone illustration
Example of torsion anchors

Chapter 04

Torsion Anchors

The fundamental shape for transferring moments.

  • Construction methods
  • When to use the torsion anchor
  • Comparison to common designs
  • Moment pairs

Chapter 05


​Buckling is usually not considered in commercial software for topology optimization, but it is crucial to real world practical designs. Learn how to design with buckling in mind.

  • The Best Cross Section
  • Euler’s Critical Load
  • Design Tips
Buckling example
Shape optimized cantilever beam

Chapter 06


Don't let fatigue become an afterthought. There is a lot you can do in the design process to increase the life cycle of your part. Learn how to round corners and poke holes in things without creating stress concentrations.

  • Tension Triangles
  • Eighth of a Circle
  • Rounding of Outside Corners
  • Uniaxial Loading
  • Biaxial Loading
  • Tree fork
Who's this book for?
  • Design engineers
  • Industrial designers
  • Structural engineers
  • Architects
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Student
  • Professionals
  • Teachers
  • Researches
  • Makers