We present an interactive map-based technique for designing single-input-single-output compliant mechanisms that meet the requirements of practical applications. Our map juxtaposes user-specifications with the attributes of real compliant mechanisms stored in a database so that not only the practical feasibility of the specifications can be discerned quickly but also modifications can be done interactively to the existing compliant mechanisms. The practical utility of the method presented here exceeds that of shape and size optimizations because it accounts for manufacturing considerations, stress limits, and material selection. The premise for the method is the spring-leverage (SL) model, which characterizes the kinematic and elastostatic behavior of compliant mechanisms with only three SL constants. The user-specifications are met interactively using the beam-based 2D models of compliant mechanisms by changing their attributes such as: (i) overall size in two planar orthogonal directions, separately and together, (ii) uniform resizing of the in-plane widths of all the beam elements, (iii) uniform resizing of the out-of-plane thicknesses of the beam elements, and (iv) the material. We present a design software program with a graphical user interface for interactive design. A case-study that describes the design procedure in detail is also presented while additional case-studies are posted on a website.

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