Abstract

This work demonstrates the successful synthesis of path generating compliant mechanisms by the process of topology and shape design optimization. As geometric topology variation of continuum structures is difficult to treat and analysis of the displacement path or trajectory of such structures is computationally intensive, a highly effective and efficient optimization methodology is needed. This paper describes the use of a recently developed morphological geometric representation scheme coupled with an evolutionary algorithm to synthesize the mechanism. The scheme uses arrangements of skeleton and ‘flesh’ to define structural geometry, which facilitates transmission of topological/shape characteristics across generations in the evolutionary process and will not render any geometrically invalid designs. The evolutionary algorithm solves the problem as a discrete optimization problem, with a proficient constraint handling capability.

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