This paper proposes a structural optimization-based method for the design of compliant mechanism scissors in which the proposed design criteria are based on universal design principles. The first design criterion is the distance from the hand-grip to the center of gravity of the scissors, which should be minimized to reduce the physical effort required of the people using the device. The second design criterion is that of failure tolerance, where the effects of traction applied in undesirable directions upon the performance of the compliant mechanism should be minimized. Based on the proposed design criteria, a multiobjective optimization problem for the universal design of a compliant mechanism scissors is formulated. Furthermore, to obtain an optimal configuration, a new type of topology optimization technique using the level set function to represent structural boundaries is employed. This optimization technique enables rapid verification of resulting design configurations since the boundary shapes of the obtained design solution candidates can be easily converted to finite element models which are then used in large deformation analyses. Finally, the proposed design method is applied to design examples. The optimal configurations obtained by the proposed method provide good universal design performance, indicating the effectiveness and usefulness of the proposed method.

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