An Energy Formulation for Parametric Size and Shape Optimization of Compliant Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
J. A. Hetrick, S. Kota

Department of MEAM, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

J. Mech. Des 121(2), 229-234 (Jun 01, 1999) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829448 History: Received June 01, 1998; Revised January 01, 1999; Online December 11, 2007


Compliant mechanisms are jointless mechanical devices that take advantage of elastic deformation to achieve a force or motion transformation. An important step toward automated design of compliant mechanisms has been the development of topology optimization techniques. The next logical step is to incorporate size and shape optimization to perform dimensional synthesis of the mechanism while simultaneously considering practical design specifications such as kinematic and stress constraints. An improved objective formulation based on maximizing the energy throughput of a linear static compliant mechanism is developed considering specific force and displacement operational requirements. Parametric finite element beam models are used to perform the size and shape optimization. This technique allows stress constraints to limit the maximum stress in the mechanism. In addition, constraints which restrict the kinematics of the mechanism are successfully applied to the optimization problem. Resulting optimized mechanisms exhibit efficient mechanical transmission and meet kinematic and stress requirements. Several examples are given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the optimization procedure.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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