Pseudo-rigid-body models help expedite the compliant mechanism design process by aiding the analysis and synthesis of candidate design solutions, using loop-closure techniques for rigid-body mechanisms. Presently, these models are available only for relatively simple compliant beam geometries and loading situations. The pseudo-rigid-body model chain algorithm provides reasonable approximations of the deformed shape of complex compliant members; however, it has one major limitation. The elastic deformation of each compliant segment under combined load boundary conditions is obtained by superposing the pseudo-rigid-body model displacements due to i) the force and ii) the moment loads, respectively. Hence, each segment needs to be characterized by two separate pseudo-rigid-body models in order to accurately determine its deformation kinematics. Such an idealization of compliant segments would present significant challenges when attempting to represent the pseudo-rigid-body model chain in vectorial form, as in planar vector loop-closure methods. Vectorial modeling would be possible if each flexible segment in the chain could be represented by an “equivalent pseudo-rigid-body model.” This paper proposes the concept of a rudimentary equivalent pseudo-rigid-body model to represent compliant segments with combined load boundary conditions in the pseudo-rigid-body model chain algorithm. Such a model may help overcome the difficulties confronted in the potential implementation of the pseudo-rigid-body model chain in planar vector loop-closure solution techniques.

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