Computational Design of Lightweight Structures

Form Finding and Optimization

Computational Design of Lightweight Structures

Benoît Descamps, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

ISBN : 9781848216747

Publication Date : February 2014

Hardcover 160 pp

70.00 USD



The author of this book presents a general, robust, and easy-to-use method that can handle many design parameters efficiently.
Following an introduction, Chapter 1 presents the general concepts of truss layout optimization, starting from topology optimization where structural component sizes and system connectivity are simultaneously optimized. To fully realize the potential of truss layout optimization for the design of lightweight structures, the consideration of geometrical variables is then introduced.
Chapter 2 addresses truss geometry and topology optimization by combining mathematical programming and structural mechanics: the structural properties of the optimal solution are used for devising the novel formulation. To avoid singularities arising in optimal configurations, this approach disaggregates the equilibrium equations and fully integrates their basic elements within the optimization formulation. The resulting tool incorporates elastic and plastic design, stress and displacement constraints, as well as self-weight and multiple loading. The inherent slenderness of lightweight structures requires the study of stability issues.
As a remedy, Chapter 3 proposes a conceptually simple but efficient method to include local and nodal stability constraints in the formulation. Several numerical examples illustrate the impact of stability considerations on the optimal design.
Finally, the investigation on realistic design problems in Chapter 4 confirms the practical applicability of the proposed method. It is shown how we can generate a range of optimal designs by varying design settings.


1. Truss Layout Optimization.
2. Unified Formulation.
3. Stability Considerations.
4. Structural Design Applications.

About the authors

Benoît Descamps is an architectural engineer specializing in the computational design and optimization of lightweight structures. He holds a PhD from the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, where he is now a researcher in the Building, Architecture & Town Planning Department. His research activities are concerned with architectural design, form finding, structural optimization, mathematical programming, and parametric modeling. He is currently working on a spin-off project which aims to introduce computational optimization tools into construction practice.