A kinetostatic formulation for load-flow visualization in compliant mechanisms

Girish Krishnan, Charles Kim, Sridhar Kota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Load flow visualization, which is an important step in structural and machine assembly design may aid in the analysis and eventual synthesis of compliant mechanisms. In this paper, we present a kineto-static formulation to visualize load flow in compliant mechanisms. This formulation uses the concept of transferred forces to quantify load flow from input to the output of a compliant mechanism. The magnitude and direction of load flow in the constituent members enables functional decomposition of the compliant mechanism into (i) Constraints (C): members that are constrained to deform in a particular direction and (ii) Transmitters (T): members that transmit load to the output. Furthermore, it is shown that a constraint member and an adjacent transmitter member can be grouped together to constitute a fundamental building block known as an CT set whose load flow behavior is maximally decoupled from the rest of the mechanism. We can thereby explain the deformation behavior of a number of compliant mechanisms from literature by visualizing load flow, and identifying building blocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021007
JournalJournal of Mechanisms and Robotics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 12 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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