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Research Papers

Design of Planar Multi-Degree-of-Freedom Morphing Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
Lawrence W. Funke

Department of Aerospace and
Mechanical Engineering,
University of Notre Dame,
Notre Dame, IN 46556
e-mail: lfunke@nd.edu

James P. Schmiedeler

Fellow ASME
Department of Aerospace and
Mechanical Engineering,
University of Notre Dame,
Notre Dame, IN 46556
e-mail: schmiedeler.4@nd.edu

Kai Zhao

Magna Seating,
39600 Lewis Dr.,
Novi, MI 48377
e-mail: kzhaond@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 26, 2014; final manuscript received November 21, 2014; published online December 31, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Carl Nelson.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 7(1), 011007 (Feb 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: JMR-14-1261; doi: 10.1115/1.4029289 History: Received September 26, 2014; Revised November 21, 2014; Online December 31, 2014

This paper seeks to advance the design of planar multiloop shape-changing mechanisms used in a variety of applications, such as morphing extrusion dies and airfoils. The presence of defects is a limiting factor in finding suitable single-degree-of-freedom (DOF) morphing mechanisms, particularly when the number of shapes to achieve is large and/or the changes among those shapes are significant. This paper presents methods of designing multi-DOF mechanisms to expand the design space in which to find suitable defect-free solutions. The primary method uses a building block approach with Assur group of class II chains, similar to the current 1-DOF synthesis procedure. It is compared to both the 1-DOF procedure and an alternative multi-DOF procedure that generates mechanisms with single-DOF subchains. In all cases, a genetic algorithm is employed to search the design space. Two example problems involving four prescribed shapes demonstrate that mechanisms exhibiting superior shape matching are achieved with the primary multi-DOF procedure, as compared to the other two procedures.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Example of four target profiles. (b) Example of a six-link morphing chain positioned in its four target positions.

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Fig. 2

1-DOF building block solution mechanism shown in its configuration closest to the first target profile in Fig. 1. The binary link connecting segment 1 to ground is actuated.

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Fig. 3

Simplest topology of a 2-DOF building block mechanism with its vector loops indicated

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Fig. 4

Topology of a 2-DOF morphing mechanism having single-DOF subchains, with its vector loops indicated

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Fig. 5

Example target profile sets. (a) Target profile set 1 and (b) target profile set 2.

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Fig. 6

Pareto fronts where the maximum moments of the actuators were summed and divided by the number of actuators. (a) Pareto fronts for profile set 1 and (b) Pareto fronts for profile set 2.

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Fig. 7

2- and 3-DOF building block solution mechanisms for profile set 1 shown in their configurations closest to the first design profile. (a) 2-DOF building block. Binary links connecting segments 1 and 5 to ground are actuated. (b) 3-DOF building block. All binary links to ground are actuated.

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Fig. 8

2-DOF four-bar solution mechanism shown in its configuration closest to the first design profile. Binary links 2 and 3 to ground are actuated.

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