Design of metamaterial mechanisms using robust topology optimization and variable linking scheme

Kai Wu, Ole Sigmund, Jianbin Du*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Metamaterial mechanisms are structures composed of periodic cells that possess special mechanism responses. This paper proposes a topology optimization method based on a variable linking scheme for the design of metamaterial mechanisms. A robust formulation is included to improve the manufacturing reliability of the designs and prevent de-facto hinges. The proposed method is applied to the designs of a force inverter and some other interesting mechanisms. Numerical examples illustrate that metamaterial structures with desired mechanism performances can be obtained by the presented method. Studies are performed to compare the responses and robustness between conventional compliant mechanisms and metamaterial mechanisms. Furthermore, multiple subdomains are adopted to introduce more flexibility in the design. The work highlights the pros and cons of metamaterial mechanisms compared to conventional compliant mechanisms.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
    Pages (from-to)1975–1988
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The research is supported by NSFC (Grant No. 11772170), and the Key Laboratory of Spacecraft Design Optimization and Dynamic Simulation Technologies (Beihang University), Ministry of Education, China, under Grant No. 2019KF001, and Tsinghua University Tutor Research Fund, and the Project on Electric Driver Seat Technology for Large Passenger Aircraft (Grant No. MJ-2018-S-44), and the Villum Investigator Project InnoTop by the Villum Foundation.


    • Metamaterial mechanisms
    • Robust design
    • Topology optimization
    • Variable linking scheme


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