A generalized loop -closure theory for the analysis and synthesis of compliant mechanisms
Compliant mechanisms gain some or all of their motion from the relative flexibility of their members rather than from rigid-body kinematic pairs only. Advantages of such mechanisms include simplification of manufacturing and assembly, as well as reduction in cost, weight, wear, backlash, noise, and need for lubrication. Due to the complexity of the analysis of compliant mechanisms, their design has been largely accomplished by trial and error techniques. These mechanisms have been limited for use in applications where only very simple motions and functions are required. The pseudo-rigid-body model concept is a powerful method; it simplifies compliant mechanism analysis by determining a rigid-body mechanism that accurately models the characteristics of a compliant mechanism. The purpose of this work is to advance the areas of analysis, modeling, and synthesis of compliant mechanisms. In analysis, pseudo-rigid-body models of initially curved flexible segments are developed. The pseudo-rigid-body models of individual flexible segments are then used to model systems containing flexible members. The resulting pseudo-rigid-body models for compliant mechanisms are used to develop mobility equations and input/output relationships. These concepts are used to develop a generalized loop-closure method for compliant mechanisms. Examples of function, motion, and path generation are included. The design and analysis of compliant constant-force mechanisms is also presented. ^
Major Professor: Ashok Midha, Purdue University.