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Industrial Design DfAM Series: Topology Optimization of a Bicycle Wheel

Daniel Martin, Rochester Institute of Technology

Throughout the history of bicycle development, optimization of the bicycle wheel has significantly increased its performance as a result of minimizing the rotational inertia of the system. 

In this video, Daniel Martin studies how the geometry of a compression style bicycle wheel is optimized using nTop Platform’s generative design algorithm to create forms that efficiently distribute stress. 

The model generation is driven by multiple distinct load cases to create an efficient structure that is resilient to the wide range of forces encountered when riding under typical conditions. The resulting geometry is then assessed against the original load cases through finite element analysis to ascertain its efficacy.

Watch this video and learn more about: 

  • How a generative model is set up using free body diagrams and typical loading conditions obtained from literature.
  • How the ideal wheel geometry is highly dependent on the relative magnitude of the various load cases considered
  • How the stress distribution of the resulting geometry is assessed against the original load cases through finite element analysis to ascertain its efficacy

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