3D-printed flexure-based finger joints for anthropomorphic hands

Luis Alberto Garcia Rodriguez, Mark Naves, Dannis Michel Brouwer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    33 Downloads (Pure)


    Flexure-based finger joints for prosthetic hands have been studied, but until now they lack stiffness and load bearing capacity. In this paper we present a design which combines large range of motion, stiffness and load bearing capacity, with an overload protection mechanism. Several planar and non-planar hinge topologies are studied to determine load capacity over the range of motion. Optimized topologies are compared, in 30 degrees deflected state, in terms of stresses by deflection and grasping forces. Additionally, support stiffnesses were computed for all hinges in the whole range of motion (45 degrees). The Hole Cross Hinge presented the best performance over the range of motion with a grasping force up to 15 N while deflected 30 degrees. A new concept, the Angle Three-Flexure Cross Hinge, provides outstanding performance for deflections from 17.5 up to 30 degrees with a 20 N maximum grasping force when fully deflected. Experimental verification of the support stiffness over the range of motion shows some additional compliances, but the stiffness trend of the printed hinge is in line with the model. The presented joints power grasping capability outperform current state flexure-base hands and are comparable to commercial non-flexure-based prosthetic hands. In the event of excessive loads, an overload protection mechanism is in place to protect the flexure- hinges.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-8094-0
    ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-8095-7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
    Event2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018: Towards a Robotic Society - Madrid Municipal Conference Centre, Madrid, Spain
    Duration: 1 Oct 20185 Oct 2018


    Conference2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018
    Abbreviated titleIROS 2018
    Internet address


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