Stress topology analysis for porous infill optimization

Junpeng Wang, Jun Wu*, Rüdiger Westermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


The optimization of porous infill structures via local volume constraints has become a popular approach in topology optimization. In some design settings, however, the iterative optimization process converges only slowly, or not at all even after several hundreds or thousands of iterations. This leads to regions in which a distinct binary design is difficult to achieve. Interpreting intermediate density values by applying a threshold results in large solid or void regions, leading to sub-optimal structures. We find that this convergence issue relates to the topology of the stress tensor field that is simulated when applying the same external forces on the solid design domain. In particular, low convergence is observed in regions around so-called trisector degenerate points. Based on this observation, we propose an automatic initialization process that prescribes the topological skeleton of the stress field into the density field as solid simulation elements. These elements guide the material deposition around the degenerate points, but can also be remodelled or removed during the optimization. We demonstrate significantly improved convergence rates in a number of use cases with complex stress topologies. The improved convergence is demonstrated for infill optimization under homogeneous as well as spatially varying local volume constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
Number of pages13
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Porous infill
  • Stress tensor
  • Topology optimization


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