This paper presents the application of the unified exact gradient approach to optimal synthesis of mechanisms. The exact gradient approach is a systematic and efficient solution procedure that is applicable for any type of mechanism synthesis problem. In this approach, the exact gradients necessary for optimization are developed using a generalized solution procedure based on matrix methods. Availability of exact gradients in this approach enables the utilization of any gradient-based optimization method in mechanism synthesis process. As a result, this approach will be computationally most efficient, since it will not require direct search methods, or, finite difference approximate methods to find optimal solutions. These salient features of this approach are demonstrated with the aid of several mechanism problems and the results discussed.

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