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Compliant Mechanism Design Using a Strain Based Topology Optimization Method

[+] Author Affiliations
Xiaobao Liu

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ

Euihark Lee, Hae Chang Gea

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ

Ping An Du

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China

Paper No. DETC2011-48525, pp. 25-32; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 37th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5482-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Energy based topology optimization method has been used in the design of compliant mechanisms for many years. Although many successful examples from the energy based topology optimization have been presented, optimized configurations of these designs are often very similar to their rigid linkage counterparts except using compliant joints in place of rigid links. It is obvious that these complaint joints will endure large deformations under the applied forces in order to perform the specified motions and the large deformation will produce high stress which is very undesirable in compliant mechanism design. In this paper, a strain based topology optimization method is proposed to avoid localized high deformation design which is one of the drawbacks using strain energy formulation. Therefore, instead of minimizing the strain energy for structural rigidity, a global effective strain functional is minimized in order to distribute the deformation within the entire mechanism while maximizing the structural rigidity. Furthermore, the physical programming method is adopted to accommodate both flexibility and rigidity design objectives. Comparisons of design examples from both the strain energy based topology optimization and the strain based method are presented and discussed.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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