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Research Papers: Design of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems

Toward a Unified Design Approach for Both Compliant Mechanisms and Rigid-Body Mechanisms: Module 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,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: lic909@mail.usask.ca

Allan T. Dolovich

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: atd440@mail.usask.ca

Arend L. Schwab

Department of BioMechanical Engineering,
Delft University of Technology,
Delft NL 2628 CD, The Netherlands
e-mail: a.l.schwab@tudelft.nl

Just L. Herder

Department of Precision and
Microsystems Engineering,
Delft University of Technology,
Delft NL 2628 CD, The Netherlands
e-mail: j.l.herder@tudelft.nl

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,
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 January 6, 2015; final manuscript received July 19, 2015; published online October 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Charles Kim.

J. Mech. Des 137(12), 122301 (Oct 15, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-15-1012; doi: 10.1115/1.4031294 History: Received January 06, 2015; Revised July 19, 2015

Rigid-body mechanisms (RBMs) and compliant mechanisms (CMs) are traditionally treated in significantly different ways. In this paper, we present a synthesis approach that is appropriate for both RBMs and CMs. In this approach, RBMs and CMs are generalized into modularized mechanisms that consist of five basic modules, including compliant links (CLs), rigid links (RLs), pin joints (PJs), compliant joints (CJs), and rigid joints (RJs). The link modules and joint modules are modeled through beam elements and hinge elements, respectively, in a geometrically nonlinear finite-element solver, and subsequently a beam-hinge ground structure model is proposed. Based on this new model, a link and joint determination approach—module optimization—is developed for the type and dimensional synthesis of both RBMs and CMs. In the module optimization approach, the states (both presence or absence and sizes) of joints and links are all design variables, and one may obtain an RBM, a partially CM, or a fully CM for a given mechanical task. Three design examples of path generators are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach to the type and dimensional synthesis of RBMs and CMs.

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Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Hinges , Design , Optimization
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Modularization of mechanisms: (a) a four-bar RBM, (b) a four-bar lumped fully CM, (c) a four-bar distributed fully CM, (d) a four-bar partially CM, (e) a modularized four-bar mechanism with link and joint modules, and (f) a general modularized mechanism with link and joint modules (the dotted lines represent any possible connectivity). Note that the symbols for the five modules are used hereafter in this paper.

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Fig. 2

Definitions of beam and hinge elements: (a) the coordinates and deformation parameters of the beam element and (b) the hinge element between two connected beam elements

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Fig. 3

Model comparison: (a) conventional beam-only model and (b) the proposed beam-hinge model

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Fig. 4

Beam-hinge model of the modularized four-bar mechanism

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Fig. 5

Discretized design domain with the beam-hinge ground structure model

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Fig. 6

Joint interpretation when the reference link is absent: (a) the mesh with beam elements and hinge elements, (b) the design with the referenced link A being removed, and (c) the interpretation of the design in (b)

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Fig. 7

Principles for the interpretation of two joints that are connected in series. In each principle, the first term represents the joint between link B and the reference link A, and the second term represents the joint between link C and the reference link A. The third term represents the joint between B and C when A is absent.

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Fig. 8

Desired path and generated path

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Fig. 10

Design results of examples I–III

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Fig. 11

Result interpretation of example I—rigid-body path generator: (a) the joint and link modules of the original result mechanism, (b) the interpreted joint and link modules of the mechanism, and (c) the equivalent four-bar RBM

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Fig. 12

Results of examples II (the first row) and III (the second row): (a) and (d) represent the original design results; (b) and (e) represent the results with interpretation; and (c) and (f) represent the deformed configurations of the mechanisms

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Fig. 13

Models based on the explicit model and the implicit model for the result of example III

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