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Author: Yeh-Liang Hsu (1994-11-01); recommended: Yeh-Liang Hsu (2010-06-12).
Note: This paper is published in Computers in Industry, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 3-13, November 1994.

A review of structural shape optimization


Shape optimization attempts to integrate geometrical modeling, structural analysis, and optimization into one complete and automated computer-aided design process. It determines the shape of the boundary of a two- or three-dimensional structural component of minimum mass under constraints on geometry and structural responses such as stress, displacements and natural frequencies. The paper presents a general review of structural shape optimization, with emphasis on the recent developments in this field. First the general concepts are introduced. Different approaches of the process of shape optimization, which consists of geometrical representation, structural analysis, sensitivity analysis, and optimization algorithms, are reviewed. Then the difficulties in expanding from two- to three-dimensional shape optimization are discussed. Finally the paper concludes that more attention should be paid to research of zero-order optimization algorithms which are better suitable for shape optimization problems, and mechanical design optimization problems in general.