Material Mass PropertyManager

During a Topology Optimization, the program starts with the given maximum physical space of a component, which includes all elements, and through an iterative process determines a new material distribution that leads to a lighter yet stiff shape.

When the iterative optimization process completes, you view the derived shape of the component in a Material Mass Plot.
To open a Material Mass plot:

  • In a Topology study tree under Results, double-click Material Mass.


Elements with low relative mass densities (less than 0.3) are considered "soft" elements. These elements do not contribute to the overall stiffness of the component, and they can be safely removed. Elements with high relative mass densities (larger than 0.7), are considered "solid". These elements contribute the most to the overall stiffness (as a measure of the load carrying capacity) of the component, and they remain intact in the final design. An isovalue slider adjusts the inclusion of elements in the Material Mass plot according to their relative mass density values.
  Default The Default position of the isovalue slider removes those elements with relative mass density values less than 0.3.
  Material Mass - Heavy Moving the slider towards Heavy includes all elements.
  Material - Mass Light Moving the slider towards Light includes only the solid elements (with relative mass density 1.0) that cannot be removed.
Elements selected by the algorithm as Must Keep elements are yellow. Elements selected as Ok to Remove (with relative mass density less than 0.3) are deep purple. The default color options of the Material Mass plot are selected to better assist people with color-blindness. The default setting for Chart Options > Color Options is Optimized for Material Mass. You can select a custom color map under User defined.
Show Material Mass Plot Generates the Material Mass plot based on the current slider position. You can view the calculated total mass of the elements in the Material Mass plot below the slider (as absolute value and as percentage of the original mass).
  Calculate Smoothed Mesh Creates a smoother surface mesh from the active Material Mass Plot (removes or modifies elements that create jagged edges and sharp angles).
To save the smoothed mesh data of the optimized part as new geometry, right-click the Material Mass plot, and click Export Smoothed Mesh. You can save the mesh data in a new configuration, or in a new part file.
Advanced Mesh Smoothing Options:


The smoothing of the surfaces is performed in cycles. Moving the slider to Coarse applies only one smoothing cycle to the Material Mass plot.


Moving the slider to Smoothapplies higher number of smoothing cycles, and increases the computation time.

Specify color for Smoothed Mesh

Select to specify a color for the smoothed mesh geometry. Default option is the part color.


  Include title text Type a title for the plot.
  Associate plot with name view orientation Associates a predefined view orientation with the active plot.
A Material Mass plot of an optimized car hood component is shown. The "soft" elements are removed from the original geometry (maximum physical space).

(Image courtesy of Ring Brothers LLC.)