Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 1679–1694 | Cite as

Topology optimization for staged construction

  • Oded Amir
  • Yoram Mass


This paper presents a topology optimization formulation that accounts for construction in stages. Unlike in common topology optimization procedures, the loading and support conditions during construction are considered in addition to the final situation for which the structure is intended. The main purpose is to generate optimized layouts that can be built without temporary supports or scaffolds, as required for example in the design of segmental bridges. Another field of application which can benefit from this formulation is the design for manufacturing by layers, for which the staged construction is interpreted as a layer-by-layer fabrication process. By slicing the design domain and considering several fabrication stages, we obtain optimized designs that are influenced by the building direction and by the excessive deformation of unsupported layers. Demonstrative examples in 2-D and 3-D show that the amount of temporary scaffolds which are required for supporting during construction can be reduced significantly. Finally, we apply the layered approach to the design of hybrid void-support-solid layouts that can exhibit superior balance between performance and constructability compared to void-solid topologies.


Topology optimization Staged construction Support structure 



The authors are thankful to Oded Rabinovitch for a fruitful discussion on the relations between additive manufacturing and staged construction. This work has been carried out as part of AATiD – Advanced Additive Titanium Development Consortium. The authors wish to thank all of AATiD members for numerous discussions and fruitful interactions. Additional funding was provided by the European Commission Research Executive Agency, grant agreement PCIG12-GA-2012-333647. This financial support is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil and Environmental EngineeringTechnion – Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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