Topology optimization has undergone tremendous development since its introduction by Bendsøe and Kikuci in 1988, especially in recent years, due to its involvement in revolutionary generative design techniques. This paper aims to lay the foundations of a generative design methodology powered by an alternative approach to the well-known density methods. Based on finite element analysis, the objective is to develop an optimization algorithm with the Young modulus of the elements as design variables. That way, while previous studies have focused on void/solid distributions, this study searches for a distribution of different E values that could be manufactured due to progress in metamaterials and additive manufacturing. A mimetic metamaterial was also developed to be coupled with the topological optimization, but will not be included in this paper. To assess the optimization algorithm, several analyses have been carried out under different load and boundary conditions. The outcome shows correlation with our initial hypothesis: elements under higher strains increase their stiffness value, while the opposite occurs for those under minor stresses. Consequently, the results present a structure with a Young modulus distribution that optimizes the strain energy, and therefore, reduces the displacements.
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