Title

A Metric to Evaluate and Synthesize Distributed Compliant Mechanisms

Publication Date

2013

Journal

Journal of Mechanical Design

Volume

135

Issue

1

First Page

011004

Abstract

Compliant mechanisms with evenly distributed stresses have better load-bearing ability and larger range of motion than mechanisms with compliance and stresses lumped at flexural hinges. In this paper, we present a metric to quantify how uniformly the strain energy of deformation and thus the stresses are distributed throughout the mechanism topology. The resulting metric is used to optimize cross-sections of conceptual compliant topologies leading to designs with maximal stress distribution. This optimization framework is demonstrated for both single-port mechanisms and single-input single-output mechanisms. It is observed that the optimized designs have lower stresses than their nonoptimized counterparts, which implies an ability for single-port mechanisms to store larger strain energy, and single-input single-output mechanisms to perform larger output work before failure.

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