A generalized theory for the type synthesis and design of compliant mechanisms
A generalized theory for the type synthesis, and design of compliant mechanisms is developed. A review of type synthesis techniques for rigid-body mechanisms, and previous investigations in the field of compliant mechanisms is presented to provide a foundation for this effort. A generalized type synthesis process is developed which begins with a rigid-body kinematic chain and systematically adds compliance to create new compliant chains. Mechanisms are formed by specifying ground segments. In addition to providing a systematic methodology for the topological synthesis phase of the type synthesis process, a formal way to apply inputs is also developed. Inputs are added based on the deflection characteristics of the compliant segments and the connections between segments. The generalized technique is then simplified to reduce the number of possible mechanism topologies that must be considered. The simplified type synthesis techniques are used to develop a design methodology for compliant mechanisms. The use of this design methodology is illustrated through its application to practical examples. ^
Major Professor: Ashok Midha, Purdue University.