Compliance, Stress-Based and Multi-physics Topology Optimization for 3D-Printed Concrete Structures

  • Gieljan VantyghemEmail author
  • Veerle Boel
  • Wouter De Corte
  • Marijke Steeman
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 19)


Recent advancements in Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies have pushed the limits of manufacturability and have encouraged the design of products with increased complexity. Topology Optimization (TO) algorithms, on the other hand, have provided engineers with a tool for intelligently exploiting this design freedom by efficiently optimizing the shape of engineering structures. In this paper, three important developments of TO that might influence the manufacturing process and design of 3D-printed concrete structures are discussed. The first example shows how general structural TO problems, such as the well-known minimum compliance problem, can help to determine the optimal printing path and can discover the ideal location of the steel reinforcements. Secondly, it is considered how stress-based TO can enhance the shape of fiber-reinforced concrete components where the lack of steel reinforcements introduces a non-negligible strength asymmetry. In a third and last example, traditional structural TO techniques are extended to allow for multi-physics optimization. The thermal transmittance through a construction component is minimized, while the overall material usage is restricted. Results show the generation of very efficient (multi-material) structures that are aesthetically pleasing at the same time. The presented techniques aid in the search for more efficient structural design and might help overcome some of the technological challenges related to large-scale concrete 3D-printing.


Multi-physics Topology optimization 3D concrete printing 



This research was supported by Ghent University. We thank our colleagues from the Magnel Laboratory and all members of Concre3dLab – Ghent who provided insight and expertise that greatly assisted the research. The authors also thank Krister Svanberg for providing the MMA optimizer code.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structural EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Architecture and Urban PlanningGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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