This paper addresses optimal kinematic design and application of a redundantly actuated parallel manipulator with 3DOFs. Based on the kinematic model, the Jacobian matrix is derived and then transferred to a uniform form such that the conditioning index has explicit physical meaning. Based on the task workspace, the width between two columns is determined. Then, a comprehensive performance index, which compromises the conflict between workspace utilization performance measure and conditioning index, is proposed for the optimum design. The parallel manipulator is incorporated into a 4DOF hybrid machine tool, which also includes a feed worktable. Furthermore, a 5DOF machine tool is created by combining the parallel manipulator with a 2DOF worktable to machine blades of gas turbines.

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