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We study fast expansions of cold atoms in a three-dimensional Gaussian-beam optical trap. Three different methods to avoid final motional excitation are compared: inverse engineering using Lewis-Riesenfeld invariants, which provides the best overall performance, a bang-bang approach, and a fast adiabatic approach. We analyze the excitation effect of anharmonic terms, radial-longitudinal coupling, and radial-frequency mismatch. In the inverse-engineering approach these perturbations can be suppressed or mitigated by increasing the laser beam waist.