3-D shell components are used intensively in the automotive industry. Many structural topology optimization techniques were developed to reduced the total weight of shell structures while retaining its structural performance. One common approach is to utilize the concept of the design domain, such as the homogenization method and the density function approach. In this paper, a new micro-structure based design domain method is introduced to solve 3-D shell topology optimization problems. Based on physical micro-structure model, simple closed-form expressions for effective Young's modulus and effective shear modulus are rigorously derived. Using these simple relations, topology optimization problems can be formulated and solved with sequential convex approximation algorithms. Two design examples obtained from the new method are presented.