Load flow visualization, which is an important step in structural and machine assembly design may aid in the analysis and eventual synthesis of compliant mechanisms. In this paper, we present a kineto-static formulation to visualize load flow in compliant mechanisms. This formulation uses the concept of transferred forces to quantify load flow from input to the output of a compliant mechanism. The magnitude and direction of load flow in the constituent members enables functional decomposition of the compliant mechanism into (i) Constraints (C): members that are constrained to deform in a particular direction and (ii) Transmitters (T): members that transmit load to the output. Furthermore, it is shown that a constraint member and an adjacent transmitter member can be grouped together to constitute a fundamental building block known as an CT set whose load flow behavior is maximally decoupled from the rest of the mechanism. We can thereby explain the deformation behavior of a number of compliant mechanisms from literature by visualizing load flow, and identifying building blocks.

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