The objective of this paper is to introduce and demonstrate a new method for the topology optimization of compliant mechanisms. The proposed method relies on exploiting the topological derivative, and exhibits numerous desirable properties including: (1) the mechanisms are hinge-free; (2) mechanisms with different geometric and mechanical advantages (GA and MA) can be generated by varying a single control parameter; (3) a target volume fraction need not be specified, instead numerous designs, of decreasing volume fractions, are generated in a single optimization run; and (4) the underlying finite element stiffness matrices are well-conditioned. The proposed method and implementation are illustrated through numerical experiments in 2D and 3D.

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