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Load-Transmitter Constraint Sets: Part I—An Effective Tool for Visualizing Load Flow in Compliant Mechanisms and Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Girish Krishnan, Sridhar Kota

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Charles Kim

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Paper No. DETC2010-28810, pp. 563-575; 13 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 34th Annual Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4410-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Visualizing load flow aids in conceptual design synthesis of machine components. In this paper, we present a mathematical framework to visualize load flow in compliant mechanisms and structures. This framework uses the concept of transferred forces to quantify load flow from input to the output of a compliant mechanism. The key contribution of this paper is the identification a fundamental building block known as the Load-Transmitter Constraint (LTC) set, which enables load flow in a particular direction. The transferred force in each LTC set is shown to be independent of successive LTC sets that are attached to it. This enables a continuous visualization of load flow from the input to the output. Furthermore, we mathematically relate the load flow with the deformation behavior of the mechanism. We can thus explain the deformation behavior of a number of compliant mechanisms from literature by identifying its LTC sets to visualize load flow. This method can also be used to visualize load flow in optimal stiff structure topologies. The insight obtained from this visualization tool facilitates a systematic building block based design methodology for compliant mechanisms and structural topologies.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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