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Towards Statically Balanced Compliant Joints Using Multimaterial 3D Printing

[+] Author Affiliations
Arnaud Bruyas, François Geiskopf, Pierre Renaud

University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France

Paper No. DETC2014-34532, pp. V05AT08A033; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4636-0
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Compliant joints are widely used in mechanisms when accurate movements are required. With no assembly requested, they are also a great tool for mesoscale robotics, a field in which compactness and large joint amplitudes are necessary features. In this paper, an original multi-material compliant revolute joint is presented. Taking advantage of multi-material 3D printing, it exhibits a novel design with the integration of an hyper-elastic material. Thanks to a helical shape design, a large range of motion is obtained, and the incompressibility of the hyper-elastic material is used to improve the stiffness properties of the joint while keeping it compact. The spring effect of compliant joints makes mechanism actuation more difficult. The proposed joint is therefore designed with an integrated static balancing system in order to minimize actuation torques. The balancing system is composed of a bistable mechanism, which geometry optimization is presented. Experimental assessment demonstrate that the joint possesses a range of motion of 120°, and the balancing system reduces actuation moments by almost 60%.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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