Date: 17 Nov 2012

Optimal design and development of a 2-DOF PKM-based machine tool

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Abstract

This paper presents multiobjective optimization of a typical 2-degree-of-freedom (DOF) parallel kinematic machine (PKM) tool that has only single DOF joints. Nondimensional indices, namely global stiffness index (GSI), global conditioning index (GCI), and workspace index, are considered as the objectives for optimization. The indices GSI and GCI depict the variation of stiffness and dexterity of PKM within the workspace. The leg length and distance between two rails on which actuators slide are treated as design variables as these greatly influence the characteristics of PKM. A multiobjective genetic algorithm (MOGA) approach is implemented in MATLAB to find an efficient solution to this complex optimization problem. Fitness function includes inverse kinematics equations, Jacobian and stiffness matrices to compute and optimize the nondimensional indices. First, the optimal value of each index is obtained by single-objective GA. To further improve the results, a hybrid function PATTERNSEARCH is used. This helps to select appropriate boundary conditions for MOGA. To obtain the optimal values of all the three indices, a multiobjective GA is carried out. The results are compared with a conventional exhaustive search method of optimization. The obtained results show that the use of MOGA enhances the quality of the optimization outcome. Secondly, a prototype has been designed and developed with the optimal dimensions. The actual workspace of the PKM and influence of leg collision on the workspace are studied. Finally, a preliminary experimentation was carried out. A comparison between PKM and the three-axis serial kinematic machine tool is presented.