The design space of multi-stage transmissions is usually very large and heavily constrained. This places significant demands on the algorithm employed to search it, but successful optimization has the potential to yield considerably better designs than conventional heuristics, at the same time enabling a better understanding of the trade-offs between various objectives (such as service life and overall weight). Here we tackle a two-stage helical gear transmission design problem (complete with the sizing and selection of shafts, bearings, housing, etc.) using a two-phase evolutionary algorithm in a formulation that can be extended to include additional stages or different layouts
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