A finite element procedure created based on the linear strain triangle method is developed for structural thickness optimization. A new stiffness matrix is developed after assuming a linear relation between the triangle corner nodes. Nodes thicknesses are optimized using the developed Heuristic Gradient Projection (HGP) method to reach uniform stress among the structure to satisfy the constrained allowable stress designated by the designer. The advantage of the proposed method is that structural optimization can be carried out easily. Furthermore, this method gives more stable converging results and reduced the number of iterations and number of elements needed compared to the constant strain triangle with variable thicknesses which produced oscillating results before settling. This facilitates combination with other finite element software for structural thickness optimization.

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