Smooth design of 3d self-supporting topologies using additive manufacturing filter and semdot

Yun-Fei Fu, Kazem Ghabraie, Bernard Rolfe, Yanan Wang, Louis N.S. Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The smooth design of self-supporting topologies has attracted great attention in the design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) field as it cannot only enhance the manufacturability of optimized designs but can obtain light-weight designs that satisfy specific performance requirements. This paper integrates Langelaar’s AM filter into the Smooth-Edged Material Distribution for Optimizing Topology (SEMDOT) algorithm—a new element-based topology optimization method capable of forming smooth boundaries—to obtain print-ready designs without introducing post-processing methods for smoothing boundaries before fabrication and adding extra support structures during fabrication. The effects of different build orientations and critical overhang angles on self-supporting topologies are demonstrated by solving several compliance minimization (stiffness maximization) problems. In addition, a typical compliant mechanism design problem—the force inverter design—is solved to further demonstrate the effectiveness of the combination between SEMDOT and Langelaar’s AM filter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Langelaar’s AM filter
  • Print-ready design

Cite this