Topology Optimization Software for 3D Printing


Altair today announced new OptiStruct® solver capabilities that expand topology optimization support for the use of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.

A unique capability of 3D printing lies in its ability to manufacture hollow shapes with complex external geometry using tiny cells known as lattice structures. OptiStruct now extends topology optimization to assist in the efficient blending of solid-lattice structures with smooth transitional material volume.

This new technology satisfies an unmet need, since no tools previously existed for designers of lattice structures. Now OptiStruct will provide CAE analyses for optimal and structurally efficient material distribution.

OptiStruct enables designers to identify the best material placement and lattice structures. Optimization identifies where material is needed in a design and where it is not required, prior to placing and optimizing lattice.

Some applications may need to consider buckling behavior, thermal performance, dynamic characteristics, and other aspects, all of which can be optimized. With OptiStruct, users may manipulate material density based upon the result of an optimization process, comparing stronger versus weaker, or solid versus void versus lattice, designs. The designer first defines the objective, then performs optimization analysis to inform the design.

“3D printing brings new structural freedom to product design, allowing more complexity in shapes and topology and the efficient production of customized products while accelerating the manufacturing process, since no tooling is needed,” said Uwe Schramm, Chief Technical Officer at Altair.

“Topology optimization maximizes this design freedom, enabling complex free-form structure development, seamless individual designs, a shorter design process, and optimal 3D-printed structures.”


  • Capabilities: CAE analyses for optimal and structurally efficient material distribution
  • Applications: Manipulate material density, enhance porosity
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