Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
Research article
22 Aug 2011
Research article |  | 22 Aug 2011

Robust design of large-displacement compliant mechanisms

B. S. Lazarov, M. Schevenels, and O. Sigmund

Abstract. The aim of this article is to introduce a new topology optimisation formulation for optimal robust design of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems. Mesh independence in topology optimisation is most often ensured by using filtering techniques, which result in transition grey regions difficult to interpret in practical realisations. This problem has been alleviated recently by projection techniques, but these destroy the mesh independence introduced by the filters and result in single node connected hinges. Such features in the design are undesirable as they are not robust with respect to geometric manufacturing errors (such as under/over etching). They can be avoided by optimising for several design realisations which take into account the possible geometry errors. The design variations are modelled with the help of random variables. The proposed stochastic formulation for the design variations results in nearly black and white mechanism designs, robust with respect to uncertainties in the production process, i.e. without any hinges or small details which can create manufacturing difficulties.