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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Design of Multimaterial Compliant Mechanisms Using Level-Set Methods

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Yu Wang

Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering,  The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kongyuwang@acae.cuhk.edu.hk

Shikui Chen

Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering,  The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong

Xiaoming Wang, Yulin Mei

School of Mechanical Engineering,  Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

J. Mech. Des 127(5), 941-956 (Jan 23, 2005) (16 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1909206 History: Received April 19, 2004; Revised January 23, 2005

A monolithic compliant mechanism transmits applied forces from specified input ports to output ports by elastic deformation of its comprising materials, fulfilling required functions analogous to a rigid-body mechanism. In this paper, we propose a level-set method for designing monolithic compliant mechanisms made of multiple materials as an optimization of continuum heterogeneous structures. Central to the method is a multiphase level-set model that precisely specifies the distinct material regions and their sharp interfaces as well as the geometric boundary of the structure. Combined with the classical shape derivatives, the level-set method yields an Eulerian computational system of geometric partial differential equations, capable of performing topological changes and capturing geometric evolutions at the interface and the boundary. The proposed method is demonstrated for single-input and single-output mechanisms and illustrated with several two-dimensional examples of synthesis of multimaterial mechanisms of force inverters and gripping and clamping devices. An analysis on the formation of de facto hinges is presented based on the shape gradient information. A scheme to ensure a well-connected topology of the mechanism during the process of optimization is also presented.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of a monolithic compliant mechanism

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Figure 2

Level-set representations of (a) a single level set and (b) color level sets

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Figure 3

Design domain of a force inverter

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Figure 4

(a) The mechanical advantage and (b) the volume ratio and input displacement for the force inverter

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Figure 5

Iterations for the force inverter with one material

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Figure 6

Design domain of a gripper

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Figure 7

(a) The mechanical advantage and (b) the volume ratio and input displacement for the gripper

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Figure 8

Iterations for the gripper with one material

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Figure 9

Design domain of a push clamp

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Figure 10

(a) The mechanical advantage and (b) the volume ratio and input displacement for the push clamp

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Figure 11

Iterations for the push clamp with one material

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Figure 12

(a) The mechanical advantage and (b) the input displacement and volume ratios of materials

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Figure 13

Iterations for the pull clamp with two materials (in blue and green colors, respectively)

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Figure 14

(a) The mechanical advantage and (b) the input displacement and volume ratios of materials

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Figure 15

Iterations for the force inverter with two materials (in blue and green colors, respectively)

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Figure 16

Single-material compliant mechanisms and their rigid-body mechanism counterparts

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Figure 17

Compliant mechanisms made of single material (top row) and two materials (bottom row) for (a) the pull-clamp and (b) the force inverter

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Figure 18

Single-material force inverters for three different volume ratios

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Figure 19

Level-set functions (left column) and the velocity field of the steepest descent direction (right column) for the top half of the force inverter

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