We have fabricated multilayer electromechanical composites with controlled piezoelectric coefficient distributions using tape casting. Tapes of doped lead zirconate titanate were cut and stacked in accordance with their characteristic electromechanical coupling values and modulus of elasticity. This technique is an extremely versatile method to fabricate displacement actuators to fabricate monolithic ceramic parts with controlled material property gradients. To obtain a quantifiable method to optimize this type of transducer, we have devised a processing model. Given the functional distribution of the electromechanical coupling coefficient, d31, and the functional distribution of elastic modulus through the thickness of the transducer, the analysis predicts the displacement as a function of loading. The tape casting method coupled with the model provides an actuator that maximizes displacement and generated force for the given material properties.