Truss-Z (TZ) is an Extremely Modular System (EMS). Such systems allow for creation of structurally sound free-form structures, are comprised of as few types of modules as possible, and are not constrained by a regular tessellation of space. Their objective is to create spatial structures in given environments connecting given terminals without self-intersections and obstacle-intersections. TZ is a skeletal modular system for creating free-form pedestrian ramps and ramp networks. The previous research on TZ focused on global discrete geometric optimization of the spatial configuration of modules. This paper reports on the first attempts at structural optimization of the module for a single-branch TZ. The internal topology and the sizing of module beams are subject to optimization. An important challenge is that the module is to be universal: it must be designed for the worst case scenario, as defined by the module position within a TZ branch and the geometric configuration of the branch itself. There are four variations of each module, and the number of unique TZ configurations grows exponentially with the branch length. The aim is to obtain minimum-mass modules with the von Mises equivalent stress constrained under certain design load. The resulting modules are further evaluated also in terms of the typical structural criterion of compliance.
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