Spaceframe Chassis Optimisation

In this example, topology optimisation was used to determine the ideal layout for the members of a spaceframe chassis.

The vehicle’s spaceframe chassis was modelled as a box type structure with fully enclosed panels. Rear suspension points were constrained and a torsional load was applied to the front of the chassis.

The optimization software was set up to maximise the stiffness of the structure using the least amount of material, thereby minimizing the mass of the chassis. The images below show the results of the initial optimization.

Red indicates areas that are important to the torsional stiffness of the chassis, while blue shows areas where material is not adding to the torsional stiffness and could be removed.

Once the topology optimisation results have been used to generate an initial member layout, further size and shape optimisations can be used to determine the best material cross sections and thicknesses for the members.

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