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Using Lamina Emergent Mechanisms to Develop Credit-Card-Sized Products

[+] Author Affiliations
Nathan B. Albrechtsen, Spencer P. Magleby, Larry L. Howell

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Paper No. DETC2011-48420, pp. 223-231; 9 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


The compactness and portability of credit-card-sized products create a strong motivation for their development. This paper proposes that lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs) provide a means for expanding the capabilities of credit-card-sized mechanisms. LEMs are a type of compliant mechanism that is fabricated from sheet goods with motion that emerges from the sheet. A review of the current state-of-the-art in credit-card-sized mechanisms reveals that there are two primary types of mechanisms most commonly used in this form factor: rigid-body mechanisms and in-plane compliant mechanisms. The challenges of each of these mechanism areas and the LEM advantage corresponding to each challenge are described. Criteria are developed for determining if a product is a suitable candidate for using LEM technology to create a credit-card-sized mechanism. The credit-card-sized LEM advantages and suitability criteria are illustrated through an example product—a compact lancing device that could be used as a main component for a more portable epinephrine syringe.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Mechanisms



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