Optimization of Truss Geometry

by Michael W. Dobbs,
Lewis P. Felton,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 10, Pg. 2105-2118

Document Type: Journal Paper


The effect of multiple (independent) load conditions on the optimum geometrical configurations of planar trusses is investigated. A general configuration is established by considering all truss components connecting the nodal points of a rectangular gridwork of possible joint locations. This general design is modified through use of a steepest descent nonlinear programming algorithm. Unnecessary components are dropped from the configuration until a truss of minimum weight is obtained. Modifications of joint locations through changes in the nodal pattern are also considered. For the particular design examples investigated, statically determinate trusses were found to exist which are lighter in weight than indeterminate trusses.

Subject Headings: Minimum weight design | Trusses | Geometrics | Joints | Computer programming | Algorithms | Load and resistance factor design

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