Review of Topology Optimisation Refinement Processes for Sheet Metal Manufacturing in the Automotive Industry

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Topology optimisation is a process that is becoming increasingly reliable and necessary in the pursuit of highly efficient components comprising of low mass with a high structural performance. These components are typically mass-produced on a large-scale in automotive sectors for instance, where components are usually metallic and pressed. The ability to maximise a component’s structural characteristics has yielded many variations of computational topological solvers over the years. Over time many different methodologies have been used to generate suitable manufacturable solutions. Despite this, a gap between the generation of topology optimisation solutions and the creation of ready-to-manufacture solutions still exists today. This review paper outlines existing methods for computational topology optimisation and addresses any refinement methods used to generate a manufacturable solution, particularly focussing on methodologies used in automotive sheet metal forming. These methods are scrutinised in regards to the level of manual user input needed to create a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model representation of the manufacturable solution. Suggestions are also made to highlight further work to improve these techniques for large-scale industry-standard product development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305–330
Number of pages26
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Topology optimisation
  • Finite element analysis
  • Level-set method
  • Isogeometric analysis
  • Bézier curves
  • Post-processing
  • Manufacturing


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