Overhang control based on front propagation in 3D topology optimization for additive manufacturing

Emiel van de Ven*, Robert Maas, Can Ayas, Matthijs Langelaar, Fred van Keulen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


It is attractive to combine topology optimization (TO) with additive manufacturing (AM), due to the design freedom provided by AM, and the increased performance that can be achieved with TO. One important aspect is to include the design rules associated with the process restrictions of AM to prevent the requirement of relatively large support volumes during printing. This paper presents a TO filter that enforces a minimum overhang angle, resulting in an optimized topology that is printable without the need for support structures. The filter is based on front propagation, which, as it is described by a PDE, allows for a straightforward application on unstructured meshes, to enforce an arbitrary overhang angle. Efficient algorithms developed for front propagation are used in combination with adjoint sensitivities, in order to have a minor influence on the total computational cost. The focus of this work is on the implementation of the filter for high resolution 3D cases, which requires development of the front propagation for tetrahedral elements, and its parallelization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113169
Number of pages21
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Front propagation
  • Overhang
  • Topology optimization


Dive into the research topics of 'Overhang control based on front propagation in 3D topology optimization for additive manufacturing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this