This study presents the design and development of a novel, low-cost load-deflection test setup providing the testing of flexible links and compliant mechanisms. Test bench consists of two stepper motors, lead screw, rail system, two carts, two clamps, bearings and a force sensor. Clamps are designed in a way to attach various types of compliant members such as pinned-pinned buckling beam, fixed-fixed beam and 3D printed links. Mechanism enables to calculate the stiffness of compliant and 3D printed flexible systems. Sliders are displaced quasi-statically to slowly stretch or compress the flexible members attached in between two clamps. Displacement of the carts and deflection of the midpoint of the buckling beams are captured using machine vision measurement. Force applied from one of the carts to the end of the attached link is recorded using the force sensor. Stiffness of 3D printed flexible translational vibratory mechanisms is obtained using the displacement of the carts and load deflection curve of buckling beams are obtained using deflection curve and load data. Experimental results are compared with the same simulations performed by FEA analysis.

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