Topology optimization is a systematic method of generating designs to meet specific engineering requirements. It is exploited today in several industries including aircraft, automobile, and machinery, and it strongly complements the emerging field of additive manufacturing. Yet, the wide-spread use of topology optimization has been deterred due to high computational cost and significant software/hardware investment.

In this paper, we propose a cloud based topology optimization (CTO) framework to overcome these challenges, thereby promoting the wider use of topology optimization. CTO requires a confluence of several methods and technologies, each of which is discussed in this paper.

First and foremost, CTO requires a fast 3D topology optimization method that can respond rapidly to multiple clients. Here, PareTO, a topological sensitivity based method is used as the backbone of the framework. PareTO relies on limited-memory finite element analysis with a deflated linear solver that is designed to exploit multi-core and many-core architectures. At the client-end, the framework relies on JavaScript based WebGL and ThreeJS technologies to display 3D geometry and formulate structural problems within a browser. Finally, Ajax, php and HTML5 technologies are exploited to achieve asynchronous and robust user experience. An implementation of this framework is available at; to use this free service, JavaScript must be enabled within the browser.

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