The paper presents an approach for the synthesis, analysis and optimisation of 3-axis
machine tool concepts. The machine tool configurations are described by ten configurational
parameters. The machine variants are assembled from components having parametric shapes
and dimensions. Three analyses are developed for the evaluation of the generated machine
variants: (1) a static analysis for calculating the static stiffness; (2) a dynamic
analysis for calculating the natural frequencies; (3) and a clearance analysis for
checking the geometric interference between the components. The optimisations of the
configurational and of the geometrical parameters are carried out by genetic algorithms.
The objective functions, i.e. the fitness functions of the genetic algorithms, can
be composed from the following: to maximise the static stiffness; and/or to maximise
the lowest natural frequency; and/or to minimise the geometric interferences; and/or
to minimise the total volume of the machine tool.