Optimization of fixture layout (locator and clamp locations) is critical to reduce geometric error of the workpiece during machining process. In this paper, the application of particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is presented to minimize the workpiece deformation in the machining region. A PSO based approach is developed to optimize fixture layout through integrating ANSYS parametric design language (APDL) of finite element analysis to compute the objective function for a given fixture layout. Particle library approach is used to decrease the total computation time. The computational experiment of 2D case shows that the numbers of function evaluations are decreased about 96%. Case study illustrates the effectiveness and efficiency of the PSO based optimization approach.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.