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Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Additive Manufacturing Technologies
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Topology optimization (TO) is extensively used for reducing the weight of engineering parts that require higher performance in aerospace, automotive, and defense industries. Additive manufacturing (AM), a practical layer-by-layer material deposition process, is commonly employed to fabricate geometrically complex designs obtained from TO. However, AM processes may result in manufacturing-induced structural discontinuities (surface cracks or voids) that must be considered in the design stage. Nevertheless, most TO algorithms cannot realistically handle these structural cracks/defects since they mainly employ classical continuum-mechanics formulations combined with the finite element method (FEM). On the other hand, peridynamics (PD), a non-local meshless approach, can effectively model any structural discontinuity without the need for an additional effort by breaking non-local interactions. In this study, we combine PD and optimality criterion-based TO methods to investigate the effect of surface cracks on the three-dimensional structural design. For a comparative study, these cracks are also modeled using FEM-TO by eliminating the elements in the cracked region. Optimal geometries and total strain energies obtained from PD are compared with those from FEM for the benchmark case with/without surface cracks. Finally, the advantage of PD is revealed for modeling structural discontinuities in TO.