A metric to evaluate and synthesize distributed compliant mechanisms

Girish Krishnan, Charles Kim, Sridhar Kota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compliant mechanisms with evenly distributed stresses have better load-bearing ability and larger range of motion than mechanisms with compliance and stresses lumped at flexural hinges. In this paper, we present a metric to quantify how uniformly the strain energy of deformation and thus the stresses are distributed throughout the mechanism topology. The resulting metric is used to optimize cross-sections of conceptual compliant topologies leading to designs with maximal stress distribution. This optimization framework is demonstrated for both single-port mechanisms and single-input single-output mechanisms. It is observed that the optimized designs have lower stresses than their nonoptimized counterparts, which implies an ability for single-port mechanisms to store larger strain energy, and single-input single-output mechanisms to perform larger output work before failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11004
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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