Abstract A tensegrity structure is a prestressed pin-jointed structure consisting of continuously connected tensile members (cables) and disjoint compressive members (struts). This paper addresses topology optimization of tensegrity structures subjected to self-weight loads, where the compliance, i.e., the strain energy at the equilibrium state, is to be minimized. It is shown that the optimization problem can be formulated as a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) problem. The proposed method does not require connectivity relation of cables and struts of a tensegrity structure to be known in advance. Numerical experiments illustrate that various tensegrity structures can be found by solving the presented MILP problem
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