The rigid-link parallel-guiding (or parallelogram) mechanism is perhaps one of the simplest closed-loop mechanisms to analyze. Compliant parallel-guiding mechanisms, often called plate-spring mechanisms, are in common use in many applications. Advances in compliant mechanism modeling and synthesis have provided an opportunity to apply these mechanisms in an even wider range of uses. Unlike the rigid-link parallel-guiding mechanism which has a simple configuration defined by one kinematic chain, this paper reveals that twenty-eight compliant parallel-guiding mechanism configurations exist. Also, traditional plate spring mechanisms have been designed to function in the linear, small-deflection range and this paper describes a design approach that allows for deflections well into the non-linear range. The purpose of this paper is then threefold: i) identify all configurations of compliant parallel-guiding mechanisms, ii) provide a method for the design and analysis of compliant parallel-guiding mechanisms, and iii) provide experimental data to validate the above purposes. Additionally, the third purpose mentioned is important outside of the context of the parallel-guiding mechanism. The experimental results presented will help to validate the pseudo-rigid-body-model concept.

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