2008 Volume 2 Issue 1 Pages 96-107
In this study, a robust topology optimization method is proposed for compliant mechanisms, where the effect that variation of the input load direction has on the output displacement is considered. Variations are evaluated through a sensitivity-based robust optimization approach, with the variance evaluated using first-order derivatives. The robust objective function is defined as a combination of maximizing the output deformation under the mean input load and minimizing variation in the output deformation as the input load is varied, where variance due to changes in load can be obtained through mutual compliance and the presence of a pseudo load. For the topology optimization, a modified homogenization design method using the continuous approximation assumption of material distribution is adopted. The validity of the proposed method is confirmed with two compliant mechanism design problems. The effect that varying the input load direction has upon the obtained configurations is investigated by comparing these with deterministic optimum topology design results.