This research proposes the self-similarity design concept of flexible mechanisms by studying the out-of-plane, piston motion of a compliant device. Self-similar compliant mechanisms can be formed by connecting flexible units of scaled-down, identical geometry in series and/or parallel. We study a folded-architecture, compact mechanism class formed of multiple flexible, circular, and concentric segments that are serially connected. The device is capable of producing large displacements by summing the small deformations of its units. A simple analytical model is derived, which predicts the mechanism piston compliance/stiffness in terms of configuration, geometry, and material parameters. Experimental testing of a prototype and finite element simulation of various designs confirm the validity of the mathematical model. Several particular designs resulting from the generic architecture are further characterized based on the analytical model to highlight the mechanism stiffness performance and the way it scales with its defining parameters and unit stiffness.
Stiffness Design of Circular-Axis Hinge, Self-Similar Mechanism With Large Out-of-Plane Motion
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received October 12, 2018; final manuscript received January 9, 2019; published online April 18, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Massimo Callegari. This work is in part a work of the U.S. Government. ASME disclaims all interest in the U.S. Government's contributions.
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Lobontiu, N., Gress, T., Munteanu, M. G., and Ilic, B. (April 18, 2019). "Stiffness Design of Circular-Axis Hinge, Self-Similar Mechanism With Large Out-of-Plane Motion." ASME. J. Mech. Des. September 2019; 141(9): 092302. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4042792
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