Progress in Additive Manufacturing

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 83–95 | Cite as

Topology optimization and additive manufacturing for aerospace components

  • Laura BerrocalEmail author
  • Rosario Fernández
  • Sergio González
  • Antonio Periñán
  • Santos Tudela
  • Jorge Vilanova
  • Luis Rubio
  • Jose Manuel Martín Márquez
  • Javier Guerrero
  • Fernando Lasagni
Full Research Article


One of the main challenges for the aerospace industry nowadays lies in weight reduction of aircraft components without compromising their structural functionalities. With that goal, structural and topology optimization show up as a combination of design and modelling techniques. Based on the finite element method (FEM), component optimization consists of removing material which is dispensable, keeping proper functioning of the modelled part. The result is an optimized geometry, usually with a complex shape, which is possible to manufacture thanks to additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. In this paper, the topological optimization methodology has been used to redesign the following components: (1) a connector support of the VEGA space launcher, (2) a typical lever component from civil aircrafts and (3) housing part from fan cowl structures. In all of the cases, a significant weight reduction has been reached without major impact on their mechanical behaviour. Finally, components (1) and (2) were manufactured by laser beam melting (LBM) technology to demonstrate the possibility of the couple, optimization and AM concepts, as a way to improve the future aerospace structures.


Topology optimization Additive manufacturing Aerospace components design Laser beam melting Laser-based powder bed fusion of metals Weight reduction 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Berrocal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosario Fernández
    • 1
  • Sergio González
    • 1
  • Antonio Periñán
    • 1
  • Santos Tudela
    • 1
  • Jorge Vilanova
    • 2
  • Luis Rubio
    • 3
  • Jose Manuel Martín Márquez
    • 4
  • Javier Guerrero
    • 3
  • Fernando Lasagni
    • 1
  1. 1.CATEC-Advanced Center for Aerospace TechnologiesSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Airbus Defence and Space—Space SystemsMadridSpain
  3. 3.Airbus Defence and Space—Centro Bahía de Cádiz (CBC)CádizSpain
  4. 4.Airbus Defence and Space—Tablada FactorySevilleSpain

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