Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level



Mechanical Engineering


Huitink, David

Committee Member/Reader

Zhou, Wenchao


With the inherent usage of the computer when dealing with additive manufacturing, it only makes sense to use that higher computing power through simulation and iterative design to use the mathematical concept of topology and optimize the kind of geometry and shapes to be produced for a certain application, especially thermal ones since most 3D printing applications focus on purely the mechanical. To determine what the shape will be, an objective function of how much heat can be dispersed from a hypothetical heat source, assumed to be a type of electronic device, is maximized while being constrained by other variables, such as the ratio of the material volumes and the minimum radius of any part of the shape. While these two constraint functions were robust enough, empirical testing could not determine whether or not this topology optimization was the main reason of latent heat transfer working. Therefore, this project sought to centralize an already provided variable in terms of the type of heat source as well as adding four new variables: shear plane thickness, surface area/perimeter, volume/area, and the radii of curvature. All new methods are written out with comments in the code to be logistically sound and easy to follow, but they do operate with a borrowed set of variables from the two already-present constraints rather than working directly with them; the full implementation of the new constraints into the older system required a lot more skill in computer science, mainly multi-file programming, to fully make the new functions as constraints rather than a calculation after the fact.


topology optimization, MATLAB, phase change material, heat sink, passive thermal management, direct metal laser sintering

Available for download on Monday, April 22, 2024