Topology optimization solves the problem of optimally distributing a given amount of material in a given design space subject to load and support conditions. An important application is the design of stable and lightweight mechanical parts.
In manufacturing, sheet metal is a preferred material. Therefore, a desired goal is to incorporate the information obtained by topology optimization into the design of parts made of sheet metal.
We identify planar regions in an optimal distribution of material and provide supporting tools for translating the essential structure of optimal mechanical parts to sheet metal parts.