OptiStruct for Structural Optimization

OptiStruct Integration with HyperWorks
OptiStruct is part of the HyperWorks toolkit, as described earlier this is a finite element solver designed to solve linear and implicit non-linear simulations. It can be used to simulate structures and mechanical systems as well as a number of different optimization types. Multibody dynamics simulation is made possible through the integration with MotionSolve.
The solvers consist of loosely integrated executables (see picture below). To the user the integration is seamless through the run script provided. Based on the file naming convention, the right executable or combination of executables is chosen.

OptiStruct is a finite element and multi-body dynamics software which can be used to design and optimize structures and mechanical systems. OptiStruct uses the analysis capabilities of RADIOSS and MotionSolve to compute responses for optimization.
The graphical interface for OptiStruct within HyperWorks allows you to perform complete modeling, optimization problem setup, job submission, and post-processing quickly and easily.

Theoretical Background 
Optimization can be defined as the automatic process to make a system or component as good as possible based on an objective function and subject to certain design constraints. There are many different methods or algorithms that can be used to optimize a structure, in OptiStruct is implemented some algorithms based on Gradient Method, this method will be discussed in detail later on this book.
Models used in optimization are classified in various ways, such as linear versus nonlinear, static versus dynamic, deterministic versus stochastic, or permanent versus transient. Then it is very important that the user include a-priori all of the important aspects of the problem, so that they will be taken into account during the solution.

Optimization Interface and Setup

Concept Design 
Topology Optimization is a mathematical technique that produces an optimized shape and material distribution for a structure within a given package space. By discretizing the domain into a finite element mesh, OptiStruct calculates material properties for each element. The OptiStruct algorithm alters the material distribution to optimize the user-defined objective under given constraints

Fine Tuning Design 
OptiStruct has the capability of performing size optimization. Size optimization can be performed simultaneously with the other types of optimization.
In size optimization, the properties of structural elements such as shell thickness, beam cross-sectional properties, spring stiffness, and mass are modified to solve the optimization problem.
Defining size variables in OptiStruct is done very similarly to other size optimization codes.Each size variable is defined using a
DESVAR bulk data entry. If a discrete design variable is desired, a DDVAL bulk data entry needs to be referenced for the design variable values.
The
DESVAR cards are related to size properties in the model using a DVPREL1 or DVPREL2 bulk data entry. Each DVPREL bulk data entry must reference at least one DESVAR bulk data entry to be active during the optimization. HyperWorks includes a preprocessor called HyperMesh that can be used to set up any number of size variables for the properties.

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