Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Robert M Taylor


Finite element based topology optimization is used to develop complex geometric configurations for additive manufacturing. Complex coarse-meshed Iso-surface data is extracted from topology optimization results and smooth mathematical geometry must be fit to that data in order to accomplish further design development. To accomplish this geometry fitting, cross-section data must be extracted at specific locations. The stereo lithography (STL) file format is a triangular mesh format which can be developed using 3D CAD Software and is widely used for additive layer manufacturing processes. The main aim of this research work is to generate cross-section contours using a nearest tail-to-head distance algorithm between the intersection of a plane and triangles from the Iso-surface. This work defines a function to find intersection points when an Iso-surface object is sliced by a given plane. After identification of intersection points, the function removes coincident points to form a closed, piecewise linear contour. This approach uses the first point in the matrix and identifies the nearest point by using distance analysis. The results show successful implementation of the head-to-tail distance analysis algorithm. Contours are generated for different geometry and cutting plane position and orientation.


Stereo lithography file, Additive manufacturing, Topology optimization, Tail to head distance algorithm


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington