Flexure joints are widely used to approximate the function of traditional mechanical joints, while offering the benefits of high precision, long life, and ease of manufacture. This paper investigates and catalogs the drawbacks of typical flexure connectors and presents several new designs for highly-effective, kinematically-behaved compliant joints. A revolute and a translational compliant joint are proposed (Figure 1), both of which offer great improvements over existing flexures in the qualities of (1) large range of motion, (2) minimal axis drift, (3) increased off-axis stiffness, and (4) reduced stress-concentrations. Analytic stiffness equations are developed for each joint and parametric computer models are used to verify their superior stiffness properties. A catalog of design charts based on the parametric models is also presented, allowing for rapid sizing of the joints for custom performance. Finally, two multi-degree-of-freedom joints are proposed as modifications to the revolute joint. These include a compliant universal joint and a compliant spherical joint, both designed to provide high degrees of compliance in the desired direction of motion and high stiffness in other directions.

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