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The goal of this software is to develop the framework for the optimal design of a mechanical structural element that minimizes the total part volume while maintaining the induced stress below an acceptable level. The software starts with input from the user, which is a set of ANSYS APDL commands that include constant dimensions, applied force, and initial values for the variable dimensions. Then, a MATLAB script modifies the variable dimensions, and the output is analyzed by the nonlinear programming solver known as Sequential Gradient-Restoration Algorithm. Finally, the solver converges on the dimensions that produce a structurally viable element with the minimum volume, which should correspond to the lightest weight. This paper outlines this process in greater detail and shows experimental results and final geometry from a competed run of the software.

Publication Date



South Dakota State University


Mechanical Engineering

Development of a Software for the Optimization of Mechanical Structural Elements



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