In this paper, an optimal kinematic design method of a three translational DoFs parallel manipulator is presented. The design is based on the concept of performance chart, which can show the relationship between a criterion and design parameters graphically and globally. The normalization on the design parameters of the studied manipulator makes it possible that the design space, which is made up of the normalized parameters, is limited. The design space includes of all possible basic similarity manipulators (BSMs). As any one of the BSMs represents all of its similarity manipulators (SMs) in terms of performances, if one BSM is optimal, its SMs are optimized as well. The said optimal BSM is from the optimum region, which is the intersecting result of involved performance charts. In this paper, the related performance criteria are good-conditioning workspace (GCW), global conditioning index (GCI) and global stiffness index (GSI). As an applying example, a design result of the parallel manipulator with a desired task workspace is presented. The results of the paper are very useful for the design and application of a parallel manipulator.
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