A highly computationally efficient objective function for measuring the change in the natural frequency when a structure is modified is introduced. When the optimization of an orthotropic plate is studied, a decrease in CPU time by at least a factor of 40 is obtained when the new objective function is compared to that derived from the minor structural modification technique. The greater the number of finite elements affected by the design changes the higher the factor of improvement will be. This new objective function has the additional advantage that it can be used for substantial modifications to the original design.

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