A Method for the Design of Compliant Mechanisms With Small-Length Flexural Pivots

[+] Author and Article Information
L. L. Howell, A. Midha

Elastic Mechanisms Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

J. Mech. Des 116(1), 280-290 (Mar 01, 1994) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2919359 History: Received April 01, 1992; Online June 02, 2008


Compliant or flexible-link mechanisms gain some or all of their motion from the relative flexibility of their joints rather than from rigid-body joints only. Unlike rigid-body mechanisms, energy is not conserved between the input and output ports of compliant mechanisms because of energy storage in the flexible members. This effect and the nonlinearities introduced by large deflections complicate the analysis of such mechanisms. The design of compliant mechanisms in industry is currently accomplished by expensive trial and error methods. This paper introduces a method to aid in the design of a class of compliant mechanisms wherein the flexible sections (flexural pivots) are small in length compared to the relatively rigid sections. The method includes a definition and use of a pseudo-rigid-body model, and the use of a large-deflection finite element type algorithm. An example is used to illustrate the design technique described.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design
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