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An XYZ Parallel Kinematic Flexure Mechanism With Geometrically Decoupled Degrees of Freedom

[+] Author Affiliations
Shorya Awtar, John Ustick, Shiladitya Sen

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. DETC2011-47713, pp. 119-126; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 35th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5483-9
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


We present the constraint-based design of a novel parallel kinematic flexure mechanism that provides highly decoupled motions along the three translational directions (X, Y, and Z) and high stiffness along the three rotational directions (θx , θy , and θz ). The geometric decoupling ensures large motion range along each translational direction and enables integration with large-stroke ground-mounted linear actuators or generators, depending on the application. The proposed design, which is based on a systematic arrangement of multiple rigid stages and parallelogram flexure modules, is analyzed via non-linear finite element analysis. A proof-of-concept prototype of the flexure mechanism is fabricated to validate its large range and decoupled motion capability. The analyses as well as the hardware demonstrate an XYZ motion range of 10 mm × 10 mm × 10 mm. Over this motion range, the non-linear FEA predicts a cross-axis error of less than 3%, parasitic rotations less than 2 mrad, less than 4% lost motion, actuator isolation less than 1.5%, and no perceptible motion direction stiffness variation. Ongoing work includes non-linear closed-form analysis and experimental measurement of these error motion and stiffness characteristics.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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