# Maximize Stiffness

Maximizing stiffness is one of several optimization objectives, and is available with topology, topography, and gauge optimization.

## Maximizing Stiffness for Topology Optimization

When running a topology optimization, maximizing the stiffness of a design space will result in a shape that generates the least amount of displacement in the model. If you select Maximize Stiffness as your optimization objective, you will need to specify one or more of the following:
1. Mass Targets - Recommended; applied using the Run Optimization window.
2. Frequency Constraints - Optional: applied using the Run Optimization window.
3. Displacement Constraints - Optional; applied using the Displacement Constraints tool.
Note: Once optimization is complete, the best result when maximizing stiffness is generally found in the middle of the topology slider near the star in the Shape Explorer. The optimal result is the point at which all of the load and support locations are connected.

## Maximizing Stiffness for Topography Optimization

When running a topography optimization, maximizing the stiffness of a design space will result in a shape that is the stiffest possible. If you select Maximize Stiffness as your optimization objective, you will need to specify one or more of the following:
1. Bead Options - applied using the Run Optimization window.
2. Displacement constraints - applied using the Displacement Constraints tool.
3. Frequency constraints - applied using the Run Optimization window.

## Maximizing Stiffness for Gauge Optimization

When running a gauge optimization, maximizing the stiffness of a design space will change the thickness of the part to resist deflection. If you want to select Maximize Stiffness as your optimization objective, you will need to specify one or more of the following:
1. Total Mass Target - applied using the Run Optimization window.
2. Displacement Constraints - applied using the Displacement Constraints tool.
3. Frequency Constraints - applied using the Run Optimization window.

## Example: Maximizing Stiffness Subject to Mass Targets

The motorcycle bracket pictured below was optimized by maximizing stiffness using several different mass targets.

With a mass target of 50% of the total design space, the result is fully connected. The next step is to try decreasing the mass target to see if you can achieve a similarly connected part.

Lowering the mass target to 30% of the total design space, as shown below, produces a result that is still fully connected.
However, when the mass target drops to 20% of the total design space, the optimized shape appears disconnected.

This means the resulting shape's load path is not well-defined. Comparing the three results, the one with the mass target of 30% would be the best starting point for your design, as it provides the lowest mass that connects al off the support and force locations.

Note: While in general it is necessary to use actual load and support values to achieve a meaningful optimized result, when maximizing stiffness it is possible to use relative loads and supports.