Bistable mechanical devices remain stable in two distinct positions without power input. They find application in valves, switches, closures, and clasps. Mechanically bistable behavior results from the storage and release of energy, typically in springs, with stable positions occurring at local minima of stored energy. Compliant mechanisms offer an elegant way to achieve this behavior by incorporating both motion and energy storage into the same flexible element. Interest in compliant bistable mechanisms has also recently increased because of the advantages of bistable behavior in many micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). Design of compliant or rigid-body bistable mechanisms typically requires simultaneous consideration of both energy storage and motion requirements. This paper simplifies this process by developing theory that provides prior knowledge of mechanism configurations that guarantee bistable behavior. Configurations which include one or more translational, or slider, joints are studied in this work. Several different mechanism types are analyzed to determine compliant segment placement that will ensure bistable mechanism operation. Examples demonstrate the power of the theory in design.
Bistable Configurations of Compliant Mechanisms Modeled Using Four Links and Translational Joints
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received October 2003; revised January 2004. Associate Editor: S. Ananthasuresh.
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Jensen, B. D., and Howell, L. L. (August 12, 2004). "Bistable Configurations of Compliant Mechanisms Modeled Using Four Links and Translational Joints ." ASME. J. Mech. Des. July 2004; 126(4): 657–666. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1760776
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