The authors propose an innovative technique for dealing with optimal shape design problems that exploits the flexibility of the virtual element method in generating meshes composed of general polygonal and polyhedral elements. Virtual element method and finite element method can coexist on the same discretized domain; therefore, the possibility of dealing with hanging nodes and gluing sub-domain meshes is ensured. Accordingly, the shape synthesis of a magnetic pole is considered as the case study. It is shown that the proposed technique is effective in handling the shape variations dictated by an algorithm of evolutionary optimisation.
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