Topology optimization and additive manufacturing
This is probably a slight divergence from the main subject of Historical Aviation though it does align well with the underlying research philosophy relating to the how and the why of how the aircraft designs develop from concept to manufacture.
Engineers have always strived to maximize efficiency with materials, reduce weight and improve manufacturing…the shape and form being integral to that same desire.
Thus today we have many tools at our disposal that have evolved to interrogate and simulate our designs before they become a real world object. In recent years Topology Optimization, an industry term that Wikipedia defines as “A mathematical approach that optimizes material layout within a given design space,” could be a critical motivator to create industrial designs more efficiently with less material…an ideal environment for the aircraft designer.
In my day job as an engineer I am always looking for new tools to help me make my designs better and more efficient. In my studies of historical aircraft designs I attempt to get into the designers mind and understand the motivations and inspiration for the aircraft designs.
So I am naturally curious about the many influences that impact the design process and the tools available to do that job.
This is a link to a youtube presentation on Topology Optimization..just because it is; for me personally; an incredibly interesting technology…enjoy!