Publication | Computer-Aided Design 2022

BeNTO: Beam Network Topology Optimization

Footbridge designs with standard generative design (left) and with beam optimization (right)

This paper presents a new method for generative design, democratizing the creation of beam and frame structures that can be affordably constructed from bolted or welded extrusions.

Read more in the blog post New Research Brings Beam Structures to Generative Design.

Download publication


BeNTO: Beam Network Topology Optimization

Nigel J. W. Morris, Pradeep Kumar Jayaraman, Adrian Butscher

Computer-Aided Design 2022

We present an optimization framework that allows designers and engineers to develop conceptual designs for structures that can be manufactured using a network of connected beams. We leverage level set-based topology optimization along with a graph representation extracted from the skeleton of the level set. This graph is used to create an idealized beam network of the structure and the level set and the beam networks co-evolve during the course of the optimization. We propose a constraint that moves the level set geometry closer to this beam network and ultimately drives the two representations to converge. The graph representation also enables us to enforce manufacturability in the beam network, including minimum and maximum cross-section size, angle snapping and cross-section continuity. By applying the beam constraint during topology optimization we are able to generate designs that satisfy the structural requirements and can also be fabricated as beam networks.

Related Resources



Optimal design of frame structures with mixed categorical and continuous design variables using the Gumbel–Softmax method

New gradient-based optimizer for handling budget and material…



A Discretization-free Metric For Assessing Quality Diversity Algorithms

A multi-scale generative design model that adapts the Wave Function…



Algorithms for Voxel-based Architectural Space Analysis

This approach provides a simple and robust way to compute…



Reconstructing editable prismatic CAD from rounded voxel models

Reverse Engineering a CAD shape from other representations is an…

Get in touch

Something pique your interest? Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about Autodesk Research, our projects, people, and potential collaboration opportunities.

Contact us