Disney Research


X-CAD: Optimizing CAD Models with Extended Finite Elements
X-CAD: Optimizing CAD Models with Extended Finite Elements

We propose a novel generic shape optimization method for CAD models based on the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM). Our method works directly on the intersection between the model and a regular simulation grid, without the need to mesh or remesh, thus removing a bottleneck of classical shape optimization strategies. This is made possible by a novel hierarchical integration scheme that accurately integrates finite element quantities with sub-element precision. For optimization, we efficiently compute analytical shape derivatives of the entire framework, from model intersection to integration rule generation and XFEM simulation. Moreover, we describe a differentiable projection of shape parameters onto a constraint manifold spanned by user-specified shape preservation, consistency, and manufacturability constraints. We demonstrate the utility of our approach by optimizing mass distribution, strength-to-weight ratio, and inverse elastic shape design objectives directly on parameterized 3D CAD models.

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