Friday, January 4, 2019

OpenLSTO: New Open Source Topology Optimization Code

Optimized 3D Cantilever from OpenLSTO Tutorial

I was excited to see this short mention of a new open source topology optimization code in the Aerospace America Year in Review.
In July, University of California, San Diego published open-source level set topology optimization software. This new software routinely runs 10 million element models by adapting and tailoring the level set method, making design for additive manufacturing immediately accessible.
New computing tools, international collaboration spell design progress

The software site for UC San Diego's Multiscale, Multiphysics optimization lab has the basic license information, and links to documentation and downloads. The source code is up on github as well.

I like the level-set method OpenLSTO uses as opposed to the voxel-based approach such as in ToPy. I think at this point ToPy is still more capable since it can do heat transfer topology optimization as well as compliance minimization. The OpenLSTO developers claim to have heat transfer capabilities in their planned upgrades. In ToPy there was some post-processing effort required on the user's part to get from the voxel output to a 3D printable shape in a standard format suitable for fabrication. Getting an stl file export directly from the topology optimization code is great feature that is really enabled by OpenLSTO's use of a level-set approach.

I can't wait to see what folks use this code to design. I am hoping for rapid progress in the new year on this new, and exciting open source topology optimization software!


  1. Another limitation that I did not note above is the ability to specify solid or void areas in the topology optimization. I don't see that capability covered in any of the OpenLSTO docs. ToPy is able to do this.