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Technical Brief

Topology Optimization and Prototype of a 3D Printed Compliant Finger for Grasping Vulnerable Objects with Size and Shape Variations

[+] Author and Article Information
Chih-Hsing Liu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
chliu@mail.ncku.edu.tw

Chen-Hua Chiu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
zas988777@gmail.com

Ta-Lun Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
luciferluxn@gmail.com

Tzu-Yang Pai

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
a19936161@gmail.com

Mao-Cheng Hsu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
qwe.566@gmail.com

Yang Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
balrog705@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039972 History: Received July 29, 2017; Revised April 01, 2018

Abstract

This study presents a topology optimization method to synthesize an innovative compliant finger for grasping objects with size and shape variations. The design domain of the compliant finger is a trapezoidal area with one input and two output ports. The topology optimized finger design is prototyped by 3D printing using flexible filament, and be used in the developed gripper module which consists of one actuator and two identical compliant fingers. Both fingers are actuated by one displacement input, and can grip objects through elastic deformation. The gripper module is mounted on an industrial robot to pick and place a variety of objects to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed design. The results show the developed compliant finger can be used to handle vulnerable objects without causing damage to the surface of grasped items. The proposed compliant finger is a monolithic and low-cost design which can be used to resolve the challenge issue for robotic automation of irregular and vulnerable objects.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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