The design obtained from a topology optimization problem can largely depend on the type of the ground structure used. A new type of ground structure containing hinged beam elements is described in this paper that reduces the dependence of the optimal design on the ground structure. Apart from the beam and truss elements that have traditionally been used, two new types of elements are introduced: 1) a beam with a hinge on one end and a solid connection on the other end, 2) beam element with hinges on both ends. These elements are particularly useful when applied to a compliant mechanism design using a truss/beam type ground structure. A couple of compliant mechanism problems are solved to demonstrate the effectiveness of these elements.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.