One of the significant impediments to the evolution of truly flexible computer-integrated manufacturing systems is the absence of truly adaptable flexible fixturing systems. This article reports on research activities dedicated to synthesizing and developing viable universal flexible fixturing systems, methodologies, and technologies for fixturing parts of various shapes and sizes. Phase-change fixturing, modular fixture kits, and other innovative concepts are discussed. In addition, the article not only contains a state-of-the-art review of this rapidly evolving area of engineering science, but it also highlights the necessity for interdisciplinary research in order to address the frontier problems in this area. These disciplines range from the mechanics of both solids and fluids through dynamics and vibrations to artificial intelligence. This research philosophy is essential for developing viable solutions which can be successfully implemented in the factory-of-the-future.

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