An initial study has been made of a method for optimizing finite element grids. This method is based on the minimum potential energy where the nodal point positions are also treated as independent variables. Necessary conditions have been obtained for the optimized grids. Case studies demonstrate the procedure for a one-dimensional tapered bar under axial load and for a two-dimensional square membrane subjected to a parabolic tensile stress. The optimized grids were observed to give improved stress estimates.

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