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A Compliant Mechanism Kit with Flexible Beams and Connectors

Limaye, P and Ramu, G and Pamulapati, S and Ananthasuresh, GK (2009) A Compliant Mechanism Kit with Flexible Beams and Connectors. In: 14th National Conference on Machines and Mechanisms (NaCoMM-09), December 17-18, 2009, NIT-Durgapur, India.

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We present the concept, prototypes, and an optimal design method for a compliant mechanism kit as a parallel to the kits available for rigid-body mechanisms. The kit consists of flexible beams and connectors that can be easily hand-assembled using snap fits. It enables users, using their creativity and mechanics intuition, to quickly realize a compliant mechanism. The mechanisms assembled in this manner accurately capture the essential behavior of the topology, shape, size and material aspects and thereby can lead the way for a real compliant mechanism for practical use. Also described in this paper are the design of the connector to which flexible beams can be added in eight different directions; and prototyping of the spring steel connectors as well as beams using wire-cut electro discharge machining. It is noted in this paper that the concept of the kit also resolves a discrepancy in the finite element (FE) modeling of beam-based compliant mechanisms. The discrepancy arises when two or more beams are joining at one point and thus leading to increased stiffness. After resolving this discrepancy, this work extends the topology optimization to automatically generate designs that can be assembled with the kit. Thus, the kit and the accompanying analysis and optimal synthesis procedures comprise a self-contained educational as well as a research and pragmatic toolset for compliant mechanisms. The paper also illustrates how human creativity finds new ways of using the kit beyond the original intended use and how it is useful even for a novice to design compliant mechanisms.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Compliant mechanism kit;beam finite element analysis;topology optimization
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Depositing User: Ms TV Yashodha
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 10:06
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2011 10:06
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/40085

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