Solid isotropic material with thickness penalization – A 2.5D method for structural topology optimization

Tejeswar Yarlagadda, Zixin Zhang, Liming Jiang, Pradeep Bhargava, Asif Usmani

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


SIMP is the most common topology optimization scheme to minimize the material utilization of a structural component using element densities as a design variable. This paper presents a new methodology, SIMTP, Solid Isotropic Material with Thickness Penalization, introducing a nodal thickness variable to the plane stress element. SIMTP uses a 2.5D element, and it is developed considering the varying thickness as a 3D problem and planar transformation as a 2D problem. The developed 2.5D element is used for projecting the 2D strain energy onto a 3D space. Classical optimization problems like Cantilever, MBB, and L-, beams are solved using 2.5D SIMTP, and results are compared with SIMP. The implementation is simple, directly representing the thickness, and nodal design variables enhance the resolution. Checkerboarding or other topology-related issues are not noticed during the process. Also, 2.5D SIMTP can yield desired results with fewer elements, thereby reducing the computational efforts. Besides, a 211-line MATLAB implementation of 2.5D SIMTP with examples is provided at the end of this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106857
JournalComputers and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • 2.5D element
  • Degenerated element
  • Nodal design variable
  • SIMP
  • Topology optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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