How do we assess the capability of a compliant mechanism of given topology and shape? The kinetoelastostatic maps proposed in this paper help answer this question. These maps are drawn in 2D using two non-dimensional quantities, one capturing the nonlinear static response and the other the geometry, material, and applied forces. Geometrically nonlinear finite element analysis is used to create the maps for compliant mechanisms consisting of slender beams. In addition to the topology and shape, the overall proportions and the proportions of the cross-sections of the beam segments are kept fixed for a map. The finite region of the map is parameterized using a non-dimensional quantity defined as the slenderness ratio. The shape and size of the map and the parameterized curves inside it indicate the complete kinetoelastostatic capability of the corresponding compliant mechanism of given topology, shape, and fixed proportions.

Static responses considered in this paper include input/output displacement, geometric amplification, mechanical advantage, maximum stress, etc. The maps can be used to compare mechanisms, to choose a suitable mechanism for an application, or re-design as may be needed. The usefulness of the non-dimensional maps is presented with multiple applications of different variety. Non-dimensional portrayal of snap-through mechanisms is one such example. The effect of the shape of the cross-section of the beam segments and the role of different segments in the mechanism as well as extension to 3D compliant mechanisms, the cases of multiple inputs and outputs, and moment loads are also explained. The effects of disproportionate changes on the maps are also analyzed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.