In this paper, structural topology optimization is addressed through Genetic Algorithms. A set of designs is evolved following the Darwinian survival-of-fittest principle. The standard crossover and mutation operators are tailored for the needs of 2D topology optimization. The genetic algorithm based on these operators is experimented on plane stress problems of cantilever plates: the goal is to optimize the weight of the structure under displacement constraints.

The main advantage of this approach is that it can both find out alternative optimal solutions, as experimentally demonstrated on a problem with multiple solutions, and handle different kinds of mechanical model: some results in elasticity with large displacements are presented. In that case, the nonlinear geometrical effects of the model lead to non viable solutions, unless some constraints are imposed on the stress field.

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