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Title:Analysis and design of rapid prototyped mechanisms using hybrid flexural pivots
Author(s):Correa-Panesso, Jorge Eduardo
Advisor(s):Ferreira, Placid M.
Department / Program:Mechanical Science & Engineering
Discipline:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Hybrid manufacture
3D printing
Abstract:The ability of fabricating flexure based mechanism is of great importance in modern technology fields such as nanotechnology and precision engineering. For an instance, a great number of nanopositioning systems are made out of flexures. Examples of these systems are those used in scanning probe microscopy and many other types of metrology tools. Not having friction is a requirement to achieve nanometer scale motion and thus flexural systems are preferred as they lack of sliding surfaces. Moreover, flexure hinges are able to produce accurate and repeatable motion when properly designed. Conventionally, flexure-type systems are manufactured from high performance metals such as stainless and alloyed steel or aluminum alloys for high material performance and durability. Functional requirements such as high bandwidth, accuracy performance and geometric complexity require them to be manufactured as monolithic structures using conventional precision machining and electro discharge machining (EDM). However, such an approach is expensive and not practical for mass production. They can only be used for custom and high-value added applications. Conventional and emerging additive manufacturing technologies such as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) offer an opportunity to fabricate cost effective flexure-based mechanisms with complicated spatial structures. However, the reported limitations of this approach are: dimensional accuracy, low quality surface finish, anisotropic properties, thermal instability, low holding force capabilities and severely reduced durability of the flexural elements as most rapid prototyping materials are unsuitable in fatigue loading conditions. This thesis work envisions an approach to manufacture hybrid mechanisms that uses i) economic methods like casting and molding (for high volume production) or 3-D printing (for custom, one-off systems) for manufacturing the mechanism structures/skeletons and ii) inserts of simple geometry with specialized materials (e.g. spring steel, etc.) to get the right material properties where need it. The objective of this research is to develop and exemplify a methodology that integrates a host material (rapid prototyping) with a flexure material and combines them to create a much more easy to produce mechanism. For this purpose, we focus on the design of the interfaces between the two materials and, particularly, the penetration depth of the insert into the host. Using Finite Element simplified model and tracking mechanical variables such as stress, pressure and elastic energy we arrived to the functions relating the optimum penetration depth (insertion iii distance where the elastic work done by the host material is minimum relative to that one done by the flexure) with the thickness of the flexure and the elastic properties of the two materials. For example, in the case of an aluminum host and steel inserts; the optimum penetration distance is six times the thickness of the insert whereas in the case of an ABS structure and steel inserts, the optimum penetration distance is ten times greater than the insert thickness. Further results include the study of extra compliance introduced to the system in design scenarios considering materials and manufacturing consideration for the fabrication, alignment and assembly of the mechanism. Finally, we demonstrate a piezoelectric-actuated four-bar mechanism, and an XYZ force sensor for suture training as general applications of these devices to the precision motion field and the medical industry. The methodology implemented in this work poses a simple and affordable way to fabricate, assemble and customize low-cost devices for precision motion application and it applies to both, systems fabricated by polymer and metal rapid prototyping technologies.
Issue Date:2015-12-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Jorge Eduardo Correa
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12

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