Lighten your Components by over 50 Percent with Topology Optimization in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

CAD-embedded Simulation drives Innovation

CAD-embedded Simulation tools, such as SOLIDWORKS Simulation, allows designers and engineers to use Virtual Prototyping early in the design process. By running virtual tests or ‘simulations’ on their designs while it is still in the iteration phase, design teams can influence and improve the final design before the ‘design change costs’ become prohibitive. SOLIDWORKS Simulation enables designers to deliver impactful innovations to their design with confidence and at a lower cost because they don’t have to wait until the end of the product development cycle to run virtual and physical prototyping tests

Giaffone Racing achieved over 50 percent of Weight Reduction

Giaffone  Racing is a high-performance motorsport company in South America, synonymous with the Brazilian car racing scene. When the company looks for a competitive advantage, it uses SOLIDWORKS Simulation to lighten its components without sacrificing performance, safety and stiffness. Using SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Giaffone engineers could design and run simulations on early concepts, enabling them to understand the impact of any design decisions. Using an integrated design and simulation approach enabled Giaffone Racing to improve product performance and shorten design time.

Giaffone  Racing designers leveraged Topology Optimization in SOLIDWORKS Simulation to “stay on the cutting edge of technology,” according to Engineering Coordinator Denis Ramon Peixoto.


“Instead of performing a bunch of design iterations to validate design performance and manufacturability, we used SOLIDWORKS topology tools to quickly generate the optimized shape for the new suspension upright. In addition to giving us a technological edge as we enter a new market, SOLIDWORKS Topology Optimization capabilities allowed us to cut two months out of the development cycle.”

–        Denis Ramon Peixoto, Engineering Coordinator

By using Topology studies, Giaffone  Racing team was able to reduce the weight of some components by over 50 percent, while improving structural integrity.  Learn how the company did it by clicking this link.

In addition, check out this video to hear from the source how they use Topology Optimization to gain a competitive advantage.

What is Topology Optimization?

Topology Optimization in SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a leading-edge technology developed by our sister brand SIMULIA. Its topology optimization technology (Tosca) has been the technology leader in this space for the past 20 years. It optimizes material distribution within a design space based on set of loads, constraints and goals with the goal of maximizing the performance of the system. The software discretizes the design space with finite elements. The elements in highly loaded areas are kept, while the elements not contributing to the stiffness are removed.

So how do you incorporate Topology Optimization in your design-to-manufacturing workflow? Essentially you have two approaches:

1. Using Topology Optimization as a guide for material removal by subtractive methods (CNC)
2. Using Additive Manufacturing to print a shape based upon the Topology Optimization results

The results of Topology Optimization are a tessellated mesh, which is not ideal for manufacturing. In a traditional workflow, one could have used SOLIDWORKS Surfacing to create smoother geometry, which yields a better manufacturing result. However, this conversion to smoother geometry can be tedious and time-consuming.

New exciting Workflow

The recently released 3DEXPERIENCE® role, 3D Sculptor, together with SOLIDWORKS Simulation, enables users to take advantage of an exciting new workflow. By using 3D Sculptor, you can now easily create organic smooth geometry based upon the results of Topology Optimization simulation. 3D Sculptor is a cloud-based subdivision (Sub-D) modeling solution that runs on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform and works seamlessly with SOLIDWORKS, enabling users to create complex geometry with simple ‘push-pull’ commands.

To learn more about how to dramatically reduce your component weight and/or to get started with subdivision modeling, contact your Value-Added Reseller today. To try 3D Sculptor now, click on the banner below to get setup with a seven-day trial of 3DEXPERIENCE Works solutions today.


Mai Doan

Mai DOAN is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS Simulation. She has 20 years of experience in Simulation and Design. Prior to joining SOLIDWORKS in 2014 as a Territory Technical Manager, Mai worked as a Senior Application Engineer for ANSYS with expertise in Finite Element Analysis for more than 8 years. Before that, she developed her real world experience by designing mobile devices with an emphasis on Simulation for High Tech companies such as Siemens and Novatel Wireless. She holds Bachelor and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and speaks English, French & Vietnamese fluently.