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A Systematic Approach to Designing Multi-Material Miniature Compliant Mechanisms

[+] Author Affiliations
Dana E. Vogtmann, Satyandra K. Gupta, Sarah Bergbreiter

University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD

Paper No. DETC2011-48410, pp. 211-221; 11 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


A new process has been developed for realizing multimaterial miniature compliant hinges. This paper presents a systematic approach to the design of multi-material miniature compliant mechanisms based on the new process. A mechanism concept in the form of a skeleton diagram with force and motion constraints is provided as input, and the design results in a 3-D CAD model that incorporates all manufacturing constraints. The new fabrication process allows the utilization of multiple materials to realize compliant mechanisms. Therefore, material choice is an important component of the design approach in addition to shape selection, manufacturing constraints incorporation, and the final optimization. A sub-gram flapping mechanism used to characterize the performance of miniature wings is presented as a running example, illustrating the design process.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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