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Research Papers: Design of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems

Hybrid Compliant Mechanism Design Using a Mixed Mesh of Flexure Hinge Elements and Beam Elements Through Topology Optimization

[+] Author and Article Information
Lin Cao

Complex and Intelligent Systems Center,
East China University of Science and Technology,
Shanghai 200038, China;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan,
2A24 Engineering Building,
57 Campus Dr.,
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: lic909@mail.usask.ca

Allan T. Dolovich

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan,
1A15.3 Engineering Building,
57 Campus Dr.,
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: atd440@mail.usask.ca

Wenjun (Chris) Zhang

Complex and Intelligent Systems Center,
East China University
of Science and Technology,
Shanghai 200038, China;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan,
2B34 Engineering Building,
57 Campus Dr.,
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: wjz485@mail.usask.ca

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received December 10, 2014; final manuscript received June 17, 2015; published online July 28, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Kazuhiro Saitou.

J. Mech. Des 137(9), 092303 (Jul 28, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1780; doi: 10.1115/1.4030990 History: Received December 10, 2014

This paper proposes a topology optimization framework to design compliant mechanisms with a mixed mesh of both beams and flexure hinges for the design domain. Further, a new type of finite element, i.e., super flexure hinge element, was developed to model flexure hinges. Then, an investigation into the effects of the location and size of a flexure hinge in a compliant lever explains why the point-flexure problem often occurs in the resulting design via topology optimization. Two design examples were presented to verify the proposed technique. The effects of link widths and hinge radii were also investigated. The results demonstrated that the proposed meshing scheme and topology optimization technique facilitate the rational decision on the locations and sizes of beams and flexure hinges in compliant mechanisms.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Three types of compliant mechanisms: (a) a lumped compliant mechanism with flexure hinges [2], (b) a distributed compliant mechanism with flexible beams [3], and (c) a hybrid compliant mechanism with both flexure hinges and flexible beams [4]

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Fig. 2

(a) A circular flexure hinge, (b) the super flexure hinge element, and (c) the deformed configuration of the element under a specified loading case

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Fig. 3

Verification for the super flexure hinge element

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Fig. 5

A compliant lever with a flexure hinge

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Fig. 4

Analysis results: (a) U3,x calculated from the new model and ansys, (b) U3,y calculated from the new model and ansys, and (c) relative errors between results from the new model and those from ansys

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Fig. 7

Design domain for the force inverter design

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Fig. 8

(a) Stress contour (generated using ansys) of the force inverter with flexure hinges and beams and (b) that of the force inverter with only beams

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Fig. 11

Performance of all the designs in the six design cases (D1–D6)

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Fig. 6

Performance of the compliant lever with different hinge locations and t/R ratios: (a) input displacement uin, (b) output displacement uout, (c) GA, (d) MA, and (e) ME

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Fig. 9

Design domain for the displacement amplifier

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Fig. 10

(a) Deformed configuration (generated using ansys) of the displacement amplifier (one-quarter) and (b) the displacement amplifier with the actuator (GA = 14.07)

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Fig. 12

Performance of all the designs in the seven design cases (D1–D7)

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