[Thomas] does a lot of interesting experiments with 3D printing and lately, he’s been using the free version of Fusion 360 to do topology optimization. He started with a blocky bookshelf bracket and let the software analyze the loads so it can remove pieces that don’t contribute a lot to the bracket’s strength. This uses less material, prints faster, and — [Thomas’] biggest goal — looks cool.
If you know [Thomas] you know he didn’t just hope the brackets would be strong enough. He made prototypes and destroyed them in testing. Despite being printed in a poor orientation for strength, the models held a good bit of weight.
It was a good thing he was able to use the free version of Fusion 360 even though it sounds like it was pretty slow. The paid version charges you $25 for each analysis and $100 if you want the output file. That can run up quickly if you are doing trials.
The shelves look good, especially with the color transition filament used. The prints take about 26 hours to print. Instead of printing a second color on dual extrusion which would have nearly doubled the time, a simple painting made the flat surfaces white.
It turns out the brackets were stronger than the wall, there was a bit of a problem mounting the things. Construction adhesive did the trick, though.