Flexure mechanisms allow motion due to elastic deformation of slender segments. Classically, their application it limited to small range of motion and small loads. Recently, the advent of Additive Manufacturing has shown some complex hybrid joint topologies with improved range of motion. However, a synthesis method, including the stiffness and load bearing capacity of mechanisms at large deflections, is currently lacking. In addition, with the accuracy of modern stages evolving to sub nanometres, the nonlinear behaviour and hysteresis of the flexure materials ultimately limits the repeatability.
This project aims to generate a synthesis method for achieving (1) flexure-based mechanisms with a combination of (2) high load and high stiffness over a large range of motion, (3) predictable hysteresis, damping and nonlinear fine positioning, with (4) acceptable fatigue resistance.