One way to save space and reduce cost in a competitive environment is to use ortho-planar compliant mechanisms which can be made from sheets of material, or lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs). One major challenge associated with LEM design, however, is creating joints with the desired motion characteristics, especially where complex spatial mechanism topologies are required. This paper presents some important considerations for designing joints for LEMs. A technique commonly used in robotics, using serial chains of revolute and prismatic joints to approximate the motion of complex joints, is presented for use in lamina emergent mechanisms. Important considerations such as linkage configuration and simple prototyping are also discussed.

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