An underactuated or underconstrained compliant mechanism may have a determined equilibrium position because its energy storage elements cause a position of local minimum potential energy. The minimization of potential energy (MinPE) method is a numerical approach to finding the equilibrium position of compliant mechanisms with more degrees of freedom (DOF) than inputs. Given the pseudorigid-body model of a compliant mechanism, the MinPE method finds the equilibrium position by solving a constrained optimization problem: minimize the potential energy stored in the mechanism, subject to the mechanism’s vector loop equation(s) being equal to zero. The MinPE method agrees with the method of virtual work for position and force determination for underactuated 1-DOF and 2-DOF pseudorigid-body models. Experimental force-deflection data are presented for a fully compliant constant-force mechanism. Because the mechanism’s behavior is not adequately modeled using a 1-DOF pseudorigid-body model, a 13-DOF pseudorigid-body model is developed and solved using the MinPE method. The MinPE solution is shown to agree well with nonlinear finite element analysis and experimental force-displacement data.
A Numerical Method for Position Analysis of Compliant Mechanisms With More Degrees of Freedom Than Inputs
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Aten, Q. T., Zirbel, S. A., Jensen, B. D., and Howell, L. L. (June 21, 2011). "A Numerical Method for Position Analysis of Compliant Mechanisms With More Degrees of Freedom Than Inputs." ASME. J. Mech. Des. June 2011; 133(6): 061009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4004016
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