Simultaneous material and structural optimization by multiscale topology optimization

Raghavendra Sivapuram, Peter D. Dunning, H. Alicia Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


This paper introduces a new approach to multiscale optimization, where design optimization is applied at two scales: the macroscale, where the structure is optimized, and the microscale, where the material is optimized. Thus, structure and material are optimized simultaneously. We approach multiscale design optimization by linearizing and formulating a new way to decompose into macro and microscale design problems in such a way that solving the decomposed problems separately lead to an overall optimum solution. In addition, the macro and microstructural designs are coupled tightly through homogenization and inverse homogenization. This approach is generic in that it allows any number of unique microstructures and can be applied to a wide range of design problems. An advantage of decomposing the problem in this physical way is that it is potentially straight forward to specify additional design requirements at a specific scale or in specific regions of the design domain. The decomposition approach also allows an easy parallelization of the computational methodology and this enables the computational time to be maintained at a practical level. We demonstrate the proposed approach using the level-set topology optimization at both scales, i.e. macrostructural topological design and microstructural topology of architected material. A series of optimization problems, minimizing compliance and compliant mechanism are solved for verification and investigation of potential benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1267-1281
Number of pages15
JournalStructural and multidisciplinary optimization
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledge the support from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, grant number EP/M002322/1. The authors would also like to thank Numerical Analysis Group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for their FORTRAN HSL packages (HSL, a collection of Fortran codes for large-scale scientific computation. See


  • Architected material
  • Decomposition
  • Level-set method
  • Multiscale
  • Topology optimization


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