Symmetry enables excellent motion performance of compliant mechanisms, such as minimized parasitic motion, reduced cross-axis coupling, mitigated buckling, and decreased thermal sensitivity. However, most existing symmetric compliant mechanisms are heavily over-constrained due to the fact that they are usually obtained by directly adding over-constraints to the associated non-symmetric compliant mechanisms. Therefore, existing symmetric compliant mechanisms usually have relatively complex structures and relatively large actuation stiffness. This paper presents a position-space-based approach to the design of symmetric compliant mechanisms. Using this position-space-based approach, a non-symmetric compliant mechanism can be reconfigured into a symmetric compliant mechanism by rearranging the compliant modules and adding minimal over-constraints. A symmetric spatial translational compliant parallel mechanism (symmetric XYZ compliant parallel mechanism (CPM)) is designed using the position-space-based design approach in this paper. Furthermore, the actuation forces of the symmetric XYZ CPM are nonlinearly and analytically modelled, which are represented by the given primary translations and the geometrical parameters. The maximum difference, between the nonlinear analytical results and the nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) results, is less than 2.58%. Additionally, a physical prototype of the symmetric XYZ CPM is fabricated, and the desirable motion characteristics such as minimized cross-axis coupling are also verified by FEA simulations and experimental testing.
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