This paper proposes optimization techniques to assist in the design and evaluation of fixtures for holding prismatic workpieces. This formulation of the fixturing design problem takes into account deflection of the workpiece subjected to assembly or machining loads. Using the minimization of the workpiece deflection at selected points as the design criterion, the design problem is determining the positions of the fixture supports. The Finite Element Method is used for calculating deflections that are the basis for the design objective function, and the Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno optimization algorithm is used to determine the fixture support positions. In this paper the proposed objective function is developed and the method is illustrated with three numerical examples.

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