Design Innovation Papers

An XYZ Parallel-Kinematic Flexure Mechanism With Geometrically Decoupled Degrees of Freedom

[+] Author and Article Information
Shiladitya Sen

Precision Systems Design Laboratory,
Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received March 1, 2012; final manuscript received August 17, 2012; published online November 15, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Federico Thomas.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 5(1), 015001 (Nov 15, 2012) (7 pages) Paper No: JMR-12-1022; doi: 10.1115/1.4007768 History: Received March 01, 2012; Revised August 17, 2012

A novel parallel-kinematic flexure mechanism that provides highly decoupled motions along the three translational directions (X, Y, and Z) and high stiffness along the three rotational directions (θx, θy, and θz) is presented. Geometric decoupling ensures large motion range along each translational direction and enables integration with large-stroke ground-mounted linear actuators or generators, depending on the application. The proposed design, which is based on a systematic arrangement of multiple rigid stages and parallelogram flexure modules, is analyzed via nonlinear finite elements analysis (FEA). A proof-of-concept prototype is fabricated to validate the predicted large range and decoupled motion capabilities. The analysis and the hardware prototype demonstrate an XYZ motion range of 10 mm × 10 mm × 10 mm. Over this motion range, the nonlinear FEA predicts cross-axis errors of less than 7.8%, parasitic rotations less than 10.8 mrad, less than 14.4% lost motion, actuator isolation better than 1.5%, and no perceptible motion direction stiffness variation.

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Fig. 1

Proposed XYZ flexure mechanism design

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Fig. 2

Proposed constraint map for parallel-kinematic XYZ flexure mechanism synthesis (color in online version)

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Fig. 3

Flexure mechanism concept based on constraint map (color in online version)

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Fig. 4

Proposed flexure mechanism design: (a) X motion only, (b) Y motion only, and (c) Z motion only (color in online version)

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Fig. 5

X direction force–displacement relation

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Fig. 6

X direction lost motion

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Fig. 7

X direction cross-axis error motion

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Fig. 8

X actuator isolation (Y direction)

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Fig. 9

X actuator isolation (Z direction)

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Fig. 10

X direction rotation of the XYZ stage




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