Spherical joint is a type of common kinematic pair in spatial parallel mechanism. The existence of spherical joint clearance has many adverse effects on the mechanism. A method of forecasting the dynamic behaviors of spatial parallel mechanism with spherical clearance joint is proposed. The 4-UPS-UPU spatial parallel mechanism with spherical clearance is taken as the research object, the dynamic response, and nonlinear characteristics of the mechanism are studied. The kinematic model and the contact force model of the spherical clearance are established. The dynamic equation of the spatial parallel mechanism with spherical joint clearance is derived by Newton–Euler method. The above-mentioned dynamic equation is solved by using the ODE113 function that is based on a variable order numerical differential algorithm in matlab. The dynamic responses of moving platform with different clearance values are analyzed. The contact force and the center trajectory of the sphere at the spherical joint are obtained. In addition, the phase trajectory, Poincare map, and bifurcation diagram are analyzed, and the nonlinear characteristics of the spherical clearance joint and the moving platform are obtained. By comparing the results, such as the acceleration of moving platform and the contact force, with virtual prototype simulation, the correctness of the dynamic equation of the spatial parallel mechanism with spherical clearance joint and the analysis results are verified. The researches show that the change of clearance value has a great influence on the motion state of spherical clearance joint, and chaos phenomena appears in the clearance joint with the increase in the clearance value. And the impact phenomenon appears between the spherical joint elements, which makes the mechanism generated vibration.

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