The paper discusses solutions to the problem of optimally supporting a thin plate, acted upon by its self weight, with a discrete number of supports. Such problems occur, for example, in supporting ceiling tiles with fasteners. The goal is to minimize deflection which is visually unappealing. Minimizing deflection is especially important as the initial deflection increases with time due to creep. Square and rectangular plates are considered. The approach taken here is based on combining a bending plate finite element code with an optimizer. Results are presented for square and rectangular plates on a (three) discrete supports. A penalty function is used to ensure that supports are not collinear.

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