A penalty function approach is used in conjunction with a multi-criteria optimization method for topology synthesis of compliant mechanisms. This method can help facilitate convergence to physically meaningful solutions for problems with a large number of design variables. The second part of the paper is an investigation of the element strain energy density of the optimal solution, where a second stage size optimization routine is developed. The solution from the topology optimization is used as a starting point for the resizing algorithm, which uses an optimality criteria method based on the overall average strain energy density. This second stage optimization more uniformly distributes the element strain energy densities in order to avoid localized areas of high stress or strain.

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