Topology optimization of leaf flexures for stiffness ratio maximization in compliant mechanisms

Joshua Pinskier, Bijan Shirinzadeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

1 Citation (Scopus)


Compliant mechanisms produce motion through the elastic deformation of their constituent flexures. Leaf flexures are commonly used to guide linear motions as they are relatively compliant in the motion direction and stiff in other directions. In precision compliant mechanisms, the range of motion is commonly limited by their actuators' maximum input force. Increasing their workspace requires reducing stiffness in the motion direction. This paper investigates the design of linear flexure guides, using computational topology optimization, to maximize their ratio of in-plane to out-of-plane stiffness. A volume distribution problem is posed and reduced to a final binary solution using the solid isotropic material with penalization (SIMP) method. The resulting stiffness ratio optimized structures resemble common engineering trusses in their basic form and offer performance 1.5 to 4 times greater than standard leaf structures, with a reduced mass. Hence the workspace of a linear compliant mechanism can be increased without a significant deterioration in the mechanism's bandwidth or out-of-plane stiffness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIM 2018 - IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781538618547
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2018
EventIEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics 2018 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 9 Jul 201812 Jul 2018 (Conference website)

Publication series

NameIEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM


ConferenceIEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics 2018
Abbreviated titleAIM 2018
CountryNew Zealand
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