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Shape-Morphing Space Frame (SMSF) Using Linear Bistable Elements

[+] Author Affiliations
Ahmad Alqasimi, Craig Lusk

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Paper No. DETC2015-47526, pp. V05AT08A023; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 39th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5712-0
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This paper presents a new concept: a Shape-Morphing Space Frame (SMSF), which is a novel application utilizing the Linear Bistable Compliant Crank-Slider Mechanism (LBCCSM). The frame’s initial shape is constructed from a single-layer grid of flexures, rigid links and LBCCSMs. The grid is bent into the space frame’s initial cylindrical shape, which can morph because of the inclusion of LBCCSMs in its structure. The design parameters consist of the frame’s initial height, its tessellation pattern (including bistable elements’ placement), its initial diameter, and the final desired shape. The method used in placing the bistable elements is a novel contribution to this work as it considers the principle stress trajectories. This paper will present two different examples of Shape-Morphing Space Frames, each starting from a cylindrical-shell space frame and morphing, one to a hyperbolic-shell space frame and the other to a spherical-shell space frame, both morphing by applying moments, which shear the cylindrical shell, and forces, which change the cylinder’s radius using Poisson’s effect.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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