The purpose of this work is to develop a novel optimization process for the design of space frames. The main objective is to minimize the space frame volume and consider stress constraints satisfaction. A finite element program is devised to synthesize 3D-space frames and aid in its topology optimization. The program is verified through different elementary problems with known analytical solutions as well as with commercial packages. A Midi-Bus frame is modeled with about 300 members and analyzed for a severe road model condition. The optimization effectively uses the devised Heuristic Gradient Projection (HGP) technique to synthesize the optimum Midi-Bus frame. Results indicate a marked improvement over available designs and remarkably faster convergence over other optimization techniques. This technique can thus be effectively applied to other large 3D space frame synthesis and optimization.

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