This paper presents a method for identifying the optimal designs of components and joints in the space frame body structures of passenger vehicles considering structural characteristics, manufacturability, and assembleability. Dissimilar to our previous work based on graph decomposition, the problem is posed as a simultaneous determination of the locations and types of joints in a structure and the cross sections of the joined structural frames, selected from a predefined joint library. The joint library is a set of joint designs containing the geometry of the feasible joints at each potential joint location and the cross sections of the joined frames, associated with their structural characteristics as equivalent torsional springs obtained from the finite element analyses of the detailed joint geometry. Structural characteristics of the entire structure are evaluated by finite element analyses of a beam-spring model constructed from the selected joints and joined frames. Manufacturability and assembleability are evaluated as the manufacturing and assembly costs estimated from the geometry of the components and joints, respectively. The optimization problem is solved by a multiobjective genetic algorithm using a direct crossover. A case study on an aluminum space frame of a midsize passenger vehicle is discussed.

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