Optimal design of a PZT bimorph actuator for minimally invasive surgery

David J. Cappelleri, Mary I. Frecker, Timothy W. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A metamodel-based presented is developed to optimize the force and displacement performance of a piezoceramic bimorph actuator. A segmented design with a variable piezoceramic layer thickness is proposed, where the thicknesses of discrete piezoceramic segments are used as the design variables. Design of experiments and metamodeling techniques are employed to construct computationally inexpensive approximations of finite element simulations of the PZT bimorph actuator. The metamodels are then used in lieu of the actual FEM for optimization. Design objectives include maximum tip deflection, maximum grasping force, and maximum work available at the tip. The metamodels are also used to rapidly generate the design space and identify the Pareto frontier for the competing design objectives of maximum deflection and maximum force. The accuracy and efficacy of two types of metamodels - response surfaces and kriging models - are compared in this study. By optimizing the thickness of the piezoceramic layers, and by allowing the voltage applied to each segment to vary, dramatic improvements in deflection and force are obtained when compared to a standard straight bimorph actuator. The motivation for this design is the need in the field of minimally invasive surgery for improved grasping tools, where a pair of optimized bimorph actuators can be used as a simple grasping device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2000
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2000 - Mathematics and Control in Smart Structures - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 6 2000Mar 9 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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