Structure strength and deformation of the preliminary hydraulic press design have been calculated by the finite element method, in which two working conditions have been considered, i.e. the centre-point load condition and the eccentric load condition. To solve the surplus structure strength globally and the localized stress concentration, the combined methodology of mathematical programming algorithm and the FEM has been utilized to redesign the hydraulic press. The optimization result shows that the mass of the press has been reduced greatly and the localized stress concentration has been eliminated. Besides that, the strength and stiffness in the optimized structure still meet the performance requirements.