Building block based spatial topology synthesis method for large stroke flexure hinges

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Large stroke flexure mechanisms inherently lose stiffness in supporting directions when deflected. A systematic approach to synthesize such hinges is currently lacking. In this paper a new building block based spatial topology optimization method is presented for optimizing large stroke flexure hinges. This method consists of a layout variation strategy based on a building block approach combined with a shape optimization to obtain the optimal design tuned for a specific application. A derivative free shape optimization method is adapted to include multiple system boundaries and constraints to optimize high complexity flexure mechanisms in a broad solution space. To obtain the optimal layout, three predefined 3-D “building blocks” are proposed which are consecutively combined to find the best layout with respect to specific design criteria. More specifically, this new method is used to optimize a flexure hinge aimed at maximizing the frequency of the first unwanted vibration mode. The optimized topology shows an increase in frequency of a factor ten with respect to the customary three flexure cross hinge, which represents a huge improvement in performance. The numerically predicted natural frequencies and mode shapes have been verified experimentally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number041006
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of mechanisms and robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017


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