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Micromachines 2018, 9(11), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9110572

Fabrication, Experiments, and Analysis of an LBM Additive-Manufactured Flexure Parallel Mechanism

1
Department of Mechatronic Engineering, College of Engineering, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, China
2
Intelligent Manufacturing Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, China
3
Shantou Ray-Bonus Additive Manufacture Research Institute, Shantou 515063, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section A:Physics)
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Abstract

Additive manufacturing technology has advantages for realizing complex monolithic structures, providing huge potential for developing advanced flexure mechanisms for precision manipulation. However, the characteristics of flexure hinges fabricated by laser beam melting (LBM) additive manufacturing (AM) are currently little known. In this paper, the fabrication and characterization of a flexure parallel mechanism through the LBM process are reported for the first time to demonstrate the development of this technique. The geometrical accuracy of the additive-manufactured flexure mechanism was evaluated by three-dimensional scanning. The stiffness characteristics of the flexure mechanism were investigated through finite element analysis and experimental tests. The effective hinge thickness was determined based on the parameters study of the flexure parallel mechanism. The presented results highlight the promising outlook of LBM flexure parts for developing novel nanomanipulation platforms, while additional attention is required for material properties and manufacturing errors. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexure hinges; laser beam melting; additive manufacturing; stiffness; manufacturing error; 316L flexure hinges; laser beam melting; additive manufacturing; stiffness; manufacturing error; 316L
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wei, H.; Wang, L.; Niu, X.; Zhang, J.; Simeone, A. Fabrication, Experiments, and Analysis of an LBM Additive-Manufactured Flexure Parallel Mechanism. Micromachines 2018, 9, 572.

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