This work presents a strategy to identify the optimal localized activation and actuation for a morphing thermally activated SMP structure or structural component to obtain a targeted shape change or set of shape features, subject to design objectives such as minimal total required energy and time. This strategy combines numerical representations of the SMP structure’s thermo-mechanical behavior subject to activation and actuation with gradient-based nonlinear optimization methods to solve the morphing inverse problem that includes minimizing cost functions which address thermal and mechanical energy, morphing time, and damage. In particular, the optimization strategy utilizes the adjoint method to efficiently compute the gradient of the objective functional(s) with respect to the design parameters for this coupled thermo-mechanical problem.

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