On the design of a novel fully compliant spherical four-bar mechanism

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ADVANCES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, vol.11, no.9, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this article, a novel fully compliant spherical four-bar mechanism is introduced and its generalized design methodology is proposed. The original fully compliant mechanism lies on a plane at the free position (undeflected position); therefore, it has the advantages of ease of manufacturing, minimized parts, and no backlash. First, the mobility conditions of the mechanism are obtained. The dimensions of the mechanism are optimally calculated for maximum output rotation, while keeping the deflection of flexural hinges at an acceptable range. Using an optimization method, design tables are prepared to display the relationship between arc lengths and corresponding deflections of flexural hinges. Input-output torque relationship and stresses at compliant segments are obtained analytically. A mechanism dimensioned by this novel design method is analyzed by a finite element analysis method, and the analytical results are verified. Finally, the mechanism is manufactured and it is ensured that the deflections of the compliant segments are consistent with the theoretical results.