The prevalent strategy in the topology optimization phase is to select a subset of members existing in an excessively connected truss, called Ground Structure, such that the overall weight or cost is minimized. Although finding a good topology significantly reduces the overall cost, excessive growth of the size of topology space combined with existence of varied types of design variables challenges applicability of evolutionary algorithms tailored for simultaneous optimization of topology, shape and size (TSS) in more complicated cases which are of great practical interest. In practice, large-scale truss structures are often modular, formed by joining periodically repeated units. This article organizes a novel simulation approach for this class of truss structures where the main drawbacks of the ground structure-based simulation approach are greatly moderated. The two approaches are independently employed for simultaneous TSS optimization of a modular truss example and the size of topology space as well as the required computation budget to generate an acceptable candidate design is compared. Result comparison reveals by employing the novel approach, problem complexity grows linearly with respect to the number of modules which allows for expanding application of TSS optimizers to complex modular trusses. Use of relative coordinates is also warranted for shape optimization which concludes to a more efficient optimization process.

Type of Study: Research |
Subject:
Optimal design

Received: 2013/03/15 | Accepted: 2013/04/27 | Published: 2013/04/27

Received: 2013/03/15 | Accepted: 2013/04/27 | Published: 2013/04/27