The Art of Flexure mechanism Design

Flexure mechanism design is an art, and it is not easy to provide the theoretical and practical foundation for scientists and engineers to express their creativity in this field. Flexure mechanisms, also known as compliant mechanisms, rely on the elasticity of matter to provide motion to mechanism linkages. Flexure mechanisms eliminate the disadvantages of classical joints: friction, wear, lubrication and play, while permitting monolithic design. Flexure-based mechanisms have gained prominence in a wide variety of fields including robotics, surgical instrumentation, aerospace, astronomy, particle accelerators, metrology and horology. A recent publication establishes a conceptual framework for the design of flexure-based articulated structures. Topics featured deal with the theoretical foundations for the design of translational and rotational flexures, the simple kinematic analysis of flexure-based mechanisms, and advanced kinematic approaches to the design of complex flexure-based mechanisms using modules in parallel or serial arrangements. The publication features detailed examples of long stroke flexure mechanisms used in metrology applications, and a detailed example of planar flexure mechanisms having out of plane functionality and used in surgical applications. Scientists and engineers are provided with a conceptual tool, an analytic methodology and the key references for their precision engineering needs.

Source: EPFL

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