A Well-Behaved Revolute Flexure Joint for Compliant Mechanism Design

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Goldfarb, J. E. Speich

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235

J. Mech. Des 121(3), 424-429 (Sep 01, 1999) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829478 History: Received June 01, 1998; Revised May 01, 1999; Online December 11, 2007


This paper describes the design of a unique revolute flexure joint, called a split-tube flexure, that enables (lumped compliance) compliant mechanism design with a considerably larger range-of-motion than a conventional thin beam flexure, and additionally provides significantly better multi-axis revolute joint characteristics. Conventional flexure joints utilize bending as the primary mechanism of deformation. In contrast, the split-tube flexure joint incorporates torsion as the primary mode of deformation, and contrasts the torsional properties of a thin-walled open-section member with the bending properties of that member to obtain desirable joint behavior. The development of this joint enables the development of compliant mechanisms that are quite compliant along kinematic axes, extremely stiff along structural axes, and are capable of kinematically well-behaved large motions.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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