Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fully Scripted Open Source Topology Optimization

Helical Extruder Gear for Printrbot with Optimized Topology

I've used a couple different methods for stringing together open source tools to do topology optimization, but they have all required some interactive user input. Here are some previous posts demonstrating those manual methods:
Those approaches are fine if you've got time to fiddle with interactive software, but I wanted to do some parametric studies, so I need an automated approach that would be scalable to lots and lots of optimizations.

Here's the basic steps of the automated workflow (only in 2D so far, all files on github):
  1. Define a design space and boundary / load conditions in a tpd file for ToPy
  2. Run the optimizations. Here's a python script that defines a bunch of tpd files and cunches through the jobs using itertools and multiprocessing.
  3. Trace the bitmap with pstoedit and export a dxf with potrace
  4. Import dxf file and process in OpenSCAD
  5. Export stl for printing or whatever
Here's a script that does those last few steps.

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