Congruent conical pilots can be used to configure the contacting surfaces of coaxially assembled rigid cylindrical parts where assembly integrity is obtained by an axial clamping load and where externally applied constraints occur only at the ends of the assembly. The relative motion for mating parts is developed for parts of arbitrary length. A method for optimal geometric design of the pilots is presented for the special conditions that all the parts be of the same length and that the assembly contain the minimum number of parts permissible for instability to occur. Application of the optimal design method achieves the maximum stability in the presence of a lateral destabilizing load. For each part dimension, the optimal value is at a domain limit.

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