Master Thesis: Topology Optimization in the context of Tailored Fiber Placement and its Manufacturing Constrains

Webseite Institute of Machine Elements and System Engineering

The institute of Machine Elements and System Engineering at RWTH Aachen University provides interdisciplinary research on a broad spectrum of current, future and industry-relevant issues. The Systems Engineering – Design Methodology department of the MSE deals with the product development process of different industrial products by connecting the different phases of design and manufacturing. This supports finding innovative solutions and its subsequent design implementation.

In the context of fiber composite components, the so-called tailored fiber placement (TFP) process is used to produce variable-axial 2D textile semi-finished products. By flexibly adjusting the in-plane fiber orientation allowing the increasing of the mechanical properties of the component and reducing its weight. Subsequently, the 2D textile semi-finished products can be formed into 3D preforms and infuse it. Potential applications lie where complex geometries need to be manufactured. The Topology Optimization process is well known in the industry. However, its application is limited due to its high degree of design freedom. The aim of these thesis is to develop a topology optimization model considering the manufacturing constrains of TFP.


  • Learning the topology optimization process in Abaqus.
  • Literature research about topology optimization and the application of manufacturing constrains.
  • Develop a topology optimization model that efficiently calculate a new topology geometry including the manufacturing constrains.
  • Validation of the model with a robot arm component and comparing the result geometry with different materials (isotropic and anisotropic) in terms of lightweight.


  • Independent, reliable way of working
  • Interest in Composites and Additive Manufacturing
  • Previous knowledge in FEM (Abaqus) and CAD
  • Previous knowledge in Python or MATLAB is an advantage, but not mandatory

We offer:

  • Flexibility in design and creativity way of thinking
  • Intensive support in the process
  • Good working atmosphere
  • The master thesis can be completed in English or German
  • Online-working is possible


We look forward to your application by email:

Diego Aguirre, M. Sc. RWTH
Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering

Eilfschornsteinstraße 18, 52062 Aachen


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