Abstract

Compliant mechanisms are typically designed for varying stiffness from nearly zero to rigid. However, targeted design for fine tuning within an application's sensitive range of stiffness remains more desirable for practical implementation in accurate loading or positioning systems. To achieve these various competing objectives a “Generalized Spiral Spring” (GSS) is proposed which achieves small size and other objectives by using a reduced number of parameters as provided by the spiral shape description of the components. An analytical model based on virtual work and curved beam theory is developed for accurate prediction of the stiffness. Moreover, Finite Element (FE) models are also developed for verification of the proposed designs. Multiobjective Design Optimization (MDO) is conducted to maximize the linearity in the stiffness versus control parameter response and improve resolution. The proposed analytical model is validated experimentally and computationally. This approach may be used to achieve finesse by accurate positioning with force control for industrial robots and elegant prostheses.

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