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research-article

Programmable Multistable Mechanisms: Synthesis and Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohamed Zanaty

Instant-Lab, Institute of Microengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne(EPFL), Rue de la Maladiere, 2000 Neuchatel
mohamed.zanaty@epfl.ch

Ilan Vardi

Instant-Lab, Institute of Microengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne(EPFL), Rue de la Maladiere, 2000 Neuchatel
ilan.vardi@epfl.ch

Simon Henein

Instant-Lab, Institute of Microengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne(EPFL), Rue de la Maladiere, 2000 Neuchatel
simon.henein@epfl.ch

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038926 History: Received August 12, 2017; Revised December 08, 2017

Abstract

Compliant mechanisms can be classified according to the number of their stable states and are called multistable mechanisms if they have more than one stable state. We introduce a new family of mechanisms for which the number of stable states is modified by programming inputs, we call such mechanisms programmable multistable mechanisms (PMM). A complete qualitative analysis of a PMM, the T-mechanism, is provided including a description of its multistability as a function of the programming inputs. We give an exhaustive set of diagrams illustrating equilibrium states and their stiffness as one programming input varies while the other is fixed. Constant force behavior is also characterized. Our results use polynomial expressions for the reaction force derived from Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. Qualitative behavior follows from the evaluation of the zeros of the polynomial and its discriminant. These analytical results are validated by numerical FEM simulations.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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