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Zhao Hongzhe

e-mail: hongzhezhao@gmail.com

Bi Shusheng
e-mail: bishusheng@gmail.com

Yu Jingjun
e-mail: jjyu@buaa.edu.cn
Robotics Institute,
Beihang University,
Beijing 100191, P.R. China

Guo Jun
School of Astronautics,
Beihang University,
Beijing 100191, P.R. China
e-mail: guojunbh@buaa.edu.cn

Design of a Family of
Ultra-Precision Linear Motion
Mechanisms
The parasitic motion of a parallel four-bar mechanism (PFBM) is undesirable for designers. In this paper, the rigid joints in PFBM are replaced with their flexural counterparts,
and the center shift of rotational flexural pivots can be made full use of in order to compensate for this parasitic motion. First, three schemes are proposed to design a family of
ultraprecision linear-motion mechanisms. Therefore, the generalized cross-spring pivots
are utilized as joints, and six configurations are obtained. Then, for parasitic motion of
these configurations, the compensation condition is presented, and the design space of
geometric parameters is given. Moreover, the characteristic evaluation of these configurations is implemented, and an approach to improve their performances is further proposed. In addition, a model is developed to parametrically predict the parasitic motion
and primary motion. Finally, the analytic model is verified by finite element analysis
(FEA), so these linear-motion mechanisms can be employed in precision engineering.
[DOI: 10.1115/1.4007491]

Introduction

In the last fifty years, flexural pivots and compliant mechanisms


have become an active area of research, because some substantial
improvements in performance can be achieved, such as ease of assembly, maintenance-free, no backlash, diminished friction, infinitesimal resolution, and simplified manufacturing process [1,2].
However, in order to overcome some inherent drawbacks, like
small motion range and undesirable parasitic motion, challenges
for the researchers are posed [3,4]. So the complex flexural pivots
were investigated for the purpose that the parasitic error can be
reduced by utilizing the building block approach [5].
As the compliant linear-motion mechanisms (i.e., translational
flexural pivots) are considered, some novel designs were developed deriving from rigid mechanisms, such as Roberts mechanism
[68], Scott-Russel mechanism [9], and orthoplanar linear-motion
spring [10]. Nevertheless, the prior literatures show that the vast
majority of linear-motion mechanisms are derived from the
PFBM. A typical configuration is constructed by two leaf-springs
in parallel, as illustrated in Fig. 1(a). The distributed compliance
was exploited so as to achieve large motion range [11,12]. Then,
several mechanisms of this kind were combined in series or parallel, and the double and quaternary PFBM were developed to
improve the performances [1216]. Meanwhile, a ratio-control lever was used in such mechanism to reduce the errors originating
from manufacturing and assembly tolerances [17,18].
In this paper, the aim is to diminish the parasitic motion arising
from PFBM, but not double or quaternary PFBM. Because the parasitic motion for PFBM is not tractable, as illustrated in Fig. 1(a).
In addition, the intermediate stage of double or quaternary PFBM
possesses an unwanted translational degrees of freedom (DOF)
when the ground and final stage are held fixed. This issue would
be a problem for dynamic actuation and ambient vibrations. Under
this consideration, the conventional joints in PFBM were replaced
with the cartwheel flexural pivots (Fig. 1(b)) by some researchers
[19,20]. However, the center shift of the cartwheel flexural pivot
makes the distance between its moving stage and fixed stage shortened, so the application of this rotational flexural pivot (Fig. 1(b))
will worsen the parasitic motion of PFBM. Even so, some helpful
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received February 29,
2012; final manuscript received June 27, 2012; published online September 17,
2012. Assoc. Editor: Yuefa Fang.

Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

information can be achieved from Fig. 1(b), according to the qualitative analysis of this mechanism [21]. To be specific, if a flexural
pivot is used, whose center shift makes the distance between the
two stages increase, the parasitic motion of the compliant PFBM
will be eliminated. For example, the mechanism as shown in
Fig. 1(c) can achieve desired performance.
So the objective of this research is to synthesize the compliant
PFBM, and compensate for the parasitic motion by taking advantage of some rotational flexural pivots. As a typical flexural building block, the generalized cross-spring pivot [22,23] is chosen to
implement a quantitative analysis. Then, six configurations are
presented and the compensation condition of parasitic motion is
developed. Meanwhile, the characteristics of these configurations,
such as the range of motion and manufacturing performance, are
evaluated. Furthermore, taking one configuration as an example,
the model is developed to parametrically predict the parasitic
motion and primary motion. Finally, FEA is carried out, in order
to verify the validity of the developed model.

The Compensation Principle of Parasitic Motion

It is universally accepted that the parasitic motion in PFBM is


undesirable but unavoidable, if the mechanism is utilized for rectilinear motion. However, the center shift of the rotational flexural
pivot can be taken advantage of, in order to compensate for the inherent parasitic errors of this PFBM. It is a promising method,
especially for the leaf-type flexural pivots, because large range of
motion and high precision may be achieved simultaneously.
Moreover, since the leaf with distributed compliance plays both
roles of pivot and rigid link, a compact mechanism can be
designed. In order to clarify the compensation principle of parasitic motion, a single kinematic chain of the compliant PFBM is
taken into account, and an equivalent rigid body model is given.
As illustrated in Fig. 2, there are three schemes to accomplish
the requirement of error compensation. The link length is the initial distance between the two pivot points, which is depicted by
Ll. In the y direction, the projection of the link is Lyh. Accordingly,
normalized by a characteristic length of the mechanism L (L will
be defined in Sec. 3), the shortening of the projection dyl can be
expressed as
dyl

Ll  Lyh Ll
h2
1  cos h ll 1  cos h  ll
L
L
2

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(1)

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Fig. 1 The compliant parallel four-bar mechanism combined by flexural building blocks: (a) leaf spring building
block, (b) cartwheel flexural building block, and (c) generalized cross-spring building block

On the other hand, the center shift of a flexural pivot can be


treated as two prismatic joints (the prismatic joint in the x direction is not illustrated in Fig. 2). Thus, the center shift in the y
direction (dyno) can be taken advantage of to compensate for the
shortening of the projection, according to the topological relationship between the link and constraint boundary.
First of all, in order to diminish the parasitic error of the
linear-motion mechanism, the center shift must be in the arrow
direction (as displayed in Fig. 2). More specifically, the instantaneous center of the flexural pivot in scheme I (Fig. 2(a)) must
move towards the moving stage; but in schemes II and III
(Figs. 2(b) and 2(c)), the instantaneous center of the flexural
pivot must move to the fixed stage. Furthermore, when the
direction is satisfied, the magnitude of the center shift can be
taken into consideration. As a result, the dominant term of the
parasitic motion will be diminished if the center shift of a pivot
is the following form.
For scheme I
dyno

dyl ll h2

2
4

(2a)

dyl
ll h2

2
4

(2b)

For schemes II and III


dyno 

So it is a primary task to choose the suitable rotational flexural


pivot to satisfy condition (2a) and (2b). Note also that ll is a normalized parameter, and the dimensions of the link and the pivot
will be limited by each other. Consequently, one of the objectives
for this paper is to harmonize the geometric parameters of the link

and the pivot, so as to compensate for the parasitic error of the


PFBM.

3 Synthesis of the Compliant Linear-Motion


Mechanism
Based on the compensation principle proposed in Sec. 2, the
synthesis of the compliant linear-motion mechanism can be
implemented. First, according to a quantitative analysis, the
suitable flexural pivots with desirable parasitic motion are
given. Then, employing the prescribed flexural pivot, some
configurations are proposed based on the three schemes. Moreover, the compensation condition of parasitic motion is
developed.
3.1 Choosing of the Rotational Flexural Pivot. Although
there are too many types of rotational flexural pivot, as summarized by Trease and the co-workers [12], the performances of some
flexural pivots are not good and they are unsuitable to be used in
compliant PFBM. However, as a typical rotational flexural pivot,
the cross-spring pivot [1,2428] is an exception. In order to further improve the performance and expand the application domain,
the generalized cross-spring pivot (Fig. 3), whose intersection
point is at arbitrary position of the leaf-springs [22,23], can be
adopted as the rotational flexural module. Moreover, as a primitive joint, the generalized cross-spring pivot can be combined to
form a complex flexural pivot, especially for the monolithic
arrangement (as shown in Fig. 3(b), the two leaf-springs can be
manufactured in one plate).
Accordingly, for the generalized cross-spring pivot, the characteristics of center shift must be reviewed [23]. First of all, the nondimensional parameters are defined as the following lower case
letters:

Fig. 2 Three schemes is clarified by the equivalent rigid body model of a single kinematic chain (prismatic joints in the x direction are not shown). The dotted line is the initial position, and Ll is referring to
the dotted line: (a) scheme I, (b) scheme II, and (c) scheme III.

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Fig. 3 The generalized cross-spring pivot: (a) nonmonolithic arrangement and (b)
monolithic arrangement

mp
dyp

Mp Lp
;
EI

DY
;
Lp

fp

dxp

Fp L2p
;
EI

DX
;
Lp

Pp L2p
EI
 2
Lp
dp 12
Tp
pp

where Mp, Fp, and Pp denote bending moment, horizontal force,


and vertical force applied on the moving stage as the external
loads, and their directions are invariable in the space; dxp and dyp
are the center shift of this pivot (DX and DY are depicted in Fig.
4); Lp, Wp, and Tp are the length, width, and thickness of the
beam, respectively, and they are named as shape parameters, I is
the moment of inertia, dp is the square ratio of Lp to Lp; E is
Youngs modulus of the material.
The geometric parameters k and a associated with the intersection point are described in Fig. 4. When the free end and fixed end
of the leaf are A and B, respectively, and the two leaves (or their
extension lines) cross at the point O, the ratio between the directed
line segment AO and AB is define as k. Thus, the center shift can
be expressed as
dxp Cxh p h3p Hxh p Cxf p fp Cxp p pp

(3a)

dyp Cyh p h2p Hyh p Cyf p fp Cyp p pp

(3b)

where Cxh_p and Cyh_p are the coefficients of the dominant terms;
Hxh_p and Hyh_p are the higher order terms; Cxf_p and Cyf_p are the
compliances for the horizontal force fp in the x and y directions,

respectively; Cxp_p and Cyp_p are the compliances for the vertical
force pp in the x and y directions, respectively. All these coefficients can be obtained according to Refs. [21,23]. Each coefficient
has two values when the geometric parameter k is in the different
range, (1, 0.5) and (0.5, 1).
In terms of the center shift dyp, the dominant term of dyp,d can
be expressed as the following form, irrespective of the range of
geometric parameter k.
dyp;d


1  2
9k  9k 1 h2
15 cos a

(4)

3.2 Six Configurations of the Compliant Linear-Motion


Mechanisms. According to the model of the generalized crossspring pivot [23], the dominant term of the center shift dyp,d will
be positive, if the geometric parameter k is in the range
(0.127322, 0.872678); but it will be negative when the geometric
parameter k is in the range (1, 0.127322) or (0.872678, 1).
Here, the two types of the pivots are named as I type pivot and II
type pivot, respectively. So the former satisfies the desirable direction for scheme I, but the latter satisfies schemes II and III. In
addition, the magnitude of dyp is of the order of h2. Hence, the
synthesis of the compliant PFBM can be carried out, by employing the generalized cross-spring pivot.
As a result, six configurations are proposed, as schematic illustrated in Fig. 5. The blue lines refer to the leave-springs, and the
black lines denote the rigid bodies. Configuration 1 is developed
from scheme I, and I type pivot is utilized as the flexural building
block. Utilizing II type pivot, configurations 24 are derived from
scheme II, and Configurations 5 and 6 are derived from scheme
III. Although some configurations are essentially identical, they
are still treated separately in consideration of arrangement. For
example, both configurations 5 and 6 are obtained from schemes
III by II type pivot, but they are out-plane and in-plane arrangement, respectively.
Moreover, the geometric parameters l, a, and a (a is shown in
Fig. 4) are defined to describe the configuration of these compliant
linear-motion mechanisms. And the width of these mechanisms L
is chosen as the characteristic length to normalize the parameters.
So the compensation condition of parasitic motion that the geometric parameters must satisfy can be developed.
3.3 The Compensation Condition of Parasitic Motion. The
generalized cross-spring pivot is normalized by the leaf length.
But for the compliant linear-motion mechanism, the nondimensional metrics are defined by its characteristic length L. So the
translation of the normalized parameters needs to be implemented.
First of all, the leaf length for the generalized cross-spring pivot is

Fig. 4
pivot

Deflected configuration of the generalized cross-spring

Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

Lp L=n

(5)

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Fig. 5 Six configurations of the compliant linear-motion mechanisms: (a) configuration 1, (b) configuration 2, (c) configuration
3, (d) configuration 4, (e) configuration 5, and (f) configuration 6

where n cosa/l. So the center shift of the flexural pivot can be


expressed as
dyp ndyno ;

dxp ndxno

(6)

where the suffixes no refers to the number of the flexural modules,


and it corresponds to the parameters normalized by L but not Lp.
After the translation of the parameters, dyno,d and dyl,d, which
denote the dominant terms of dyno and dyl, respectively, are formulated and listed in Table 1. In addition, according to Figs. 4
and 5, the relationship of the geometric parameters and the constraint condition are also summarized in Table 1.
Then, the dominant terms of the parasitic motion can be compensated for, in terms of the compensation principle. Configuration 1 complies with Eq. (2a) to diminish the parasitic error, but
the others achieve high precision by making use of Eq. (2b). So
the compensation equations are yielded for all of six
configurations.
Configuration 1


4  30cos2 al2 15 cos2 a2a 1  36a l 36a2 0 (7a)
Table 1

Configuration 2


4 30cos2 al2  15 cos2 a2a 1 36a l 36a2 0

(7b)

Configuration 3


4l2 36a  15 cos2 a1 2a l 36a2 0

(7c)

Configuration 4


4 30 cos2 al2 36a 15 cos2 a2a  1 l 36a2 0

(7d)

Configuration 5


4  30 cos2 al2 15 cos2 a2a 1  36a l 36a2 0 (7e)
Configuration 6


4  30 cos2 al2 36a 15 cos2 a1  2a l 36a2 0 (7f )

The expression and constraint condition for the parameters

dyno,d

dy1,d

Constraint conditiona

k 1  a=l
k 1 a=l

3b

k 1 a=l

k a=l

1  2l  a 2
h
2
2a l  1 2
h
2
1 2a 2
h
2
1  2a l 2
h
2
2l  a  1 2
h
2
1  2l  a 2
h
2

b1 < k < b2 c

2b

9a2  9al l2 h2
15l cos2 a
9a2 9al l2 h2
15l cos2 a
2
9a 9al l2 h2
15l cos2 a
9a2 9al l2 h2
15l cos2 a
2
9a  9al l2 h2
15l cos2 a
9a2  9al l2 h2
15l cos2 a

No.

k 1  a=l

k a=l

0  l  a < 1=2
k1
a l > 1=2
k1
k0
a l < 1=2
0  k < b1 or b2 < k  1
l  a > 1=2
0  k < b1 or b2 < k  1
0  l  a < 1=2

The geometric parameters for all six configurations subject to the condition: 0 < l < 1, a  0.
If monolithic
the condition becomes stricter: 0 < l < 1=2.
pmanufacturing ispconsidered,

c
b1 3  5=6, b2 3 5=6.
b

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5.1.1 Boundary Condition. Both of the two flexural building


blocks are fixed on a rotational base. A local coordinate system
that defines loads and displacements will rotate with the base.
This condition defines a virtual base.
5.1.2 Initial Condition. The moving stage of pivot 12 (as
illustrated in Fig. 5(c)) must be in parallel with the x axis of the
global coordinate system at any final time; at the initial time it
must be in parallel with the x12 axis of the local coordinate system. This condition defines a virtual initial position.
According to this equivalent model, the single kinematic chain
is divided into two flexural modules, and the model of the generalized cross-spring pivot can be exploited. Hence, the external loads
on both pivots can be obtained in the local coordinate systems. It
is important to note that the rotational angle h12 is negative.
8
< f11 f1 cosh12  p1 sinh12
p p1 cosh12  f1 sinh12
(14a)
: 11
m11 m1
8
f12 f1 cosh12 p1 sinh12
<
p12 p1 cosh12  f1 sinh12
(14b)
:
m12 m1  f1 1  2l p1 1 2a sinh12
where suffixes 11 and 12 refer to the module number (as illustrated in Fig. 5(c)); suffix 1 denotes the chain number. Then, the
parasitic motion of the kinematic chain can be obtained.
dy1  dy11 dy12 cosh12  dx11  dx12 sinh12
 l a1  cosh11 h12   1 2a1  cos h12
(15)
Meanwhile, the primary motion is also yielded as
dx1 dy11 dy12 sinh12 dx11  dx12 cosh12
l a sinh11 h12 1 2a sinh12
(16)
As far as the parasitic motion and primary motion are concerned, the first two terms are the contributions from the center

shift of the generalized cross-spring pivot. According to Eqs.


(14a) and (14b), the forces f11 and f12 are equal and opposite, but
the forces p11 and p12 are entirely identical. So the internal forces
in the chain are eliminated in light of Eqs. (13a) and (13b), and
the following equations are expressed by the loads on the moving
end of the kinematic chain:

 

dy11 dy12 Cyh 11 h211 h212 Hyh 11 Hyh 12


Cyf 11  Cyf 12 f1 cos h12 p1 sin h12


Cyp 11 Cyp 12 p1 cos h12 f1 sin h12
dx11  dx12

Cxh 11 h311


Cxf

Cxp

h312

(17a)


Hxh 11  Hxh 12


C
11
xf 12 f1 cos h12 p1 sin h12

11  Cxp 12 p1 cos h12 f1 sin h12
(17b)

5.2 The Model of the Linear-Motion Mechanism. Inspired


from the PFBM, the compliant linear-motion mechanism can be
modeled based on the kinematic chain. When the loads are
applied at the middle of the moving stage, the load relationship
between the mechanism and two kinematic chains are obtained.
8
f1 f2 fm
<
p1 p2 pm
(18)
:
m1 m2 p1  p2 s mm
where suffixes m refers to the linear-motion mechanism. Moreover, the following geometric condition must be satisfied:

dxm dx1 dx2 =2
(19)
dym dy1 dy2 =2
Then, the parasitic motion and the primary motion can be
yielded according to Eqs. (15)(17b), and Eq. (19). However, the
loads in Eqs. (17a) and (17b) are unknown, so the load relationship (18) is utilized to solve this problem. For a typical linearmotion mechanism, h12 and h22 are approximately identical, thus
the following expressions can be rearranged, according to Eqs.
(17a) and (17b):

 
h211 h212 h221 h222 Hyh 11 Hyh 12 Hyh 21 Hyh

Cyf 11  Cyf 12 Cyf 21  Cyf 22

fm cos h12 pm sin h12


2


Cyp 11 Cyp 12 Cyp 21 Cyp 22
pm cos h12  fm sin h12

2


dx11  dx12 dx21  dx22 Cxh 11 h311  h312 h321  h322 Hxh 11  Hxh 12 Hxh 21  Hxh


Cxf 11 Cxf 12 Cxf 21 Cxf 22

fm cos h12 pm sin h12


2


Cxp 11  Cxp 12 Cxp 21  Cxp 22
pm cos h12  fm sin h12

2

dy11 dy12 dy21 dy22  Cyh




11

22


(20a)

22

(20b)

Table 4 Three typical mechanisms using different geometric


parameters of configuration 3 are simulated by FEA
Table 3 Dimensional parameters and Youngs modulus of the
material in the mechanism
L/mm
50

T/mm

W/mm

E/Pa

0.5

0.73  1011

Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

Mechanism No.
Mech 1
Mech 2
Mech 3

p/9
p/6
p/6

0.310741
0.269523
0.210280

0.4
0.45
0.210280

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Fig. 7 New configuration is design by using complex flexural pivot: (a) configuration 4 is constructed by primitive flexural pivot and (b) configuration 7 is constructed by primitive flexural pivot



2 30 cos2 al2 18a 15 cos2 a2a  1 l 18a2 0
(10)
The constraint condition for the geometric parameters is
a l < 1=2 a > 0;

l > 0

(11)

If the monolithic manufacturing (all the leaf-springs can be


manufactured in one plate) is required, the constraint condition
becomes more severe as
a l < 1=4 a > 0;

l > 0

(12)

Then, the design space for the geometric parameters is obtained,


as illustrated in Fig. 8. When a is zero, the pivot becomes the cartwheel flexural pivot. Under this scenario, the compliant linearmotion mechanism can not be manufactured in one plate, because
l is greater than 1/4 and condition (12) is not satisfied. Being distinct from the design in literature [19], this configuration cannot
achieve monolithic arrangement if the cartwheel flexural pivot is
employed to compensate for the parasitic motion.
As a result, comparing with configuration 4, the new compliant
linear-motion mechanism (configuration 7) has some remarkable
advantages. First, the complemented component is in the blank of
the plate, so the new configuration is more compact. Second, the
rotational angle of the generalized cross-spring pivot will reduce
to a half, if the motion range of the mechanism is identical.
Finally, but most importantly, the drive force is moved away from
the intersection point, which leads to the decreased stiffness and
lower stress level.
Finally, it is worth noting that configuration 7 is only an example to display the method of using the complex flexural pivot.
Some other configurations that are not mentioned in this section

Fig. 8 Design space for the geometric parameters of configuration 7

041012-6 / Vol. 4, NOVEMBER 2012

can also be synthesized. However, the difficulties need to be indicated: if the pivots with different geometric parameters and shape
parameters are utilized to combine the complex flexural pivot, the
rotational angles for these flexural building blocks will not be
identical, and Eq. (8) will not be valid.

Case Study

Because configuration 3 has some good performances, its


model will be developed to quantitative predict the characteristics
of the mechanism in this section. On the basis of a single kinematic chain and the whole mechanism, the building block method
is taken advantage of to simplify the derivation.
5.1 The Model of a Single Kinematic Chain. First of all,
similarly with Eq. (6), the other nondimensional parameters in the
generalized cross-spring pivot need to be normalized again in
terms of the characteristic length L
mp

mno
;
n

fp

fno
;
n2

pp

pno
;
n2

dp

dno
d
2
n
n2

Hence, the center shift of the generalized cross-spring pivot are


expressed as the following form on purpose that the physical
attributes are revealed clearly
3
no hno

Hxh

no

Cxf

no fno

Cxp

no pno

(13a)

Cyh no h2no

Hyh

no

Cyf

no fno

Cyp

no pno

(13b)

dxno Cxh
dyno

The physical meanings of these coefficients are similar with


those in Eqs. (3a) and (3b). But these parameters and coefficients
are normalized by L but not Lp.
The linear-motion mechanism is derived from the PFBM, so a
single kinematic chain is modeled first. In terms of the building
block method, an equivalent model is proposed in order to utilize
the model of the generalized cross-spring pivot. Taking advantage
of this equivalent model, the boundary condition is transformed
into an initial condition and another relaxed boundary condition.
Thus, the first kinematic chain is taken as an example to explain
this manipulation. As shown in Fig. 9, the following conditions
need to be satisfied to fulfill the equivalence of the transformation.

Fig. 9 An equivalent model for a single kinematic chain

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5.1.1 Boundary Condition. Both of the two flexural building


blocks are fixed on a rotational base. A local coordinate system
that defines loads and displacements will rotate with the base.
This condition defines a virtual base.
5.1.2 Initial Condition. The moving stage of pivot 12 (as
illustrated in Fig. 5(c)) must be in parallel with the x axis of the
global coordinate system at any final time; at the initial time it
must be in parallel with the x12 axis of the local coordinate system. This condition defines a virtual initial position.
According to this equivalent model, the single kinematic chain
is divided into two flexural modules, and the model of the generalized cross-spring pivot can be exploited. Hence, the external loads
on both pivots can be obtained in the local coordinate systems. It
is important to note that the rotational angle h12 is negative.
8
< f11 f1 cosh12  p1 sinh12
p p1 cosh12  f1 sinh12
(14a)
: 11
m11 m1
8
f12 f1 cosh12 p1 sinh12
<
p12 p1 cosh12  f1 sinh12
(14b)
:
m12 m1  f1 1  2l p1 1 2a sinh12
where suffixes 11 and 12 refer to the module number (as illustrated in Fig. 5(c)); suffix 1 denotes the chain number. Then, the
parasitic motion of the kinematic chain can be obtained.
dy1  dy11 dy12 cosh12  dx11  dx12 sinh12
 l a1  cosh11 h12   1 2a1  cos h12
(15)
Meanwhile, the primary motion is also yielded as
dx1 dy11 dy12 sinh12 dx11  dx12 cosh12
l a sinh11 h12 1 2a sinh12
(16)
As far as the parasitic motion and primary motion are concerned, the first two terms are the contributions from the center

shift of the generalized cross-spring pivot. According to Eqs.


(14a) and (14b), the forces f11 and f12 are equal and opposite, but
the forces p11 and p12 are entirely identical. So the internal forces
in the chain are eliminated in light of Eqs. (13a) and (13b), and
the following equations are expressed by the loads on the moving
end of the kinematic chain:

 

dy11 dy12 Cyh 11 h211 h212 Hyh 11 Hyh 12


Cyf 11  Cyf 12 f1 cos h12 p1 sin h12


Cyp 11 Cyp 12 p1 cos h12 f1 sin h12
dx11  dx12

Cxh 11 h311


Cxf

Cxp

h312

(17a)


Hxh 11  Hxh 12


C
11
xf 12 f1 cos h12 p1 sin h12

11  Cxp 12 p1 cos h12 f1 sin h12
(17b)

5.2 The Model of the Linear-Motion Mechanism. Inspired


from the PFBM, the compliant linear-motion mechanism can be
modeled based on the kinematic chain. When the loads are
applied at the middle of the moving stage, the load relationship
between the mechanism and two kinematic chains are obtained.
8
f1 f2 fm
<
p1 p2 pm
(18)
:
m1 m2 p1  p2 s mm
where suffixes m refers to the linear-motion mechanism. Moreover, the following geometric condition must be satisfied:

dxm dx1 dx2 =2
(19)
dym dy1 dy2 =2
Then, the parasitic motion and the primary motion can be
yielded according to Eqs. (15)(17b), and Eq. (19). However, the
loads in Eqs. (17a) and (17b) are unknown, so the load relationship (18) is utilized to solve this problem. For a typical linearmotion mechanism, h12 and h22 are approximately identical, thus
the following expressions can be rearranged, according to Eqs.
(17a) and (17b):

 
h211 h212 h221 h222 Hyh 11 Hyh 12 Hyh 21 Hyh

Cyf 11  Cyf 12 Cyf 21  Cyf 22

fm cos h12 pm sin h12


2


Cyp 11 Cyp 12 Cyp 21 Cyp 22
pm cos h12  fm sin h12

2


dx11  dx12 dx21  dx22 Cxh 11 h311  h312 h321  h322 Hxh 11  Hxh 12 Hxh 21  Hxh


Cxf 11 Cxf 12 Cxf 21 Cxf 22

fm cos h12 pm sin h12


2


Cxp 11  Cxp 12 Cxp 21  Cxp 22
pm cos h12  fm sin h12

2

dy11 dy12 dy21 dy22  Cyh




11

22


(20a)

22

(20b)

Table 4 Three typical mechanisms using different geometric


parameters of configuration 3 are simulated by FEA
Table 3 Dimensional parameters and Youngs modulus of the
material in the mechanism
L/mm
50

T/mm

W/mm

E/Pa

0.5

0.73  1011

Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

Mechanism No.
Mech 1
Mech 2
Mech 3

p/9
p/6
p/6

0.310741
0.269523
0.210280

0.4
0.45
0.210280

NOVEMBER 2012, Vol. 4 / 041012-7

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Fig. 10 Primary motion versus parasitic motion: (a) Mech 1, (b) Mech 2, and (c) Mech 3
Table 5 Two compliant linear-motion mechanisms are compared according to the FEA data
Mechanism No.
Mech 4
Mech 5

p/3
p/3

0.067406
0

0.16
0.227406

blocks (Fig. 1(b)), which is developed by Duarte and his coworkers [19]; and Mech 6 is constructed by two leaf-springs
(Fig. 1(a)). The geometric parameters for Mech 4 and Mech 5
are listed in Table 5, and the Mech 6 has the same dimension
with the others.
As a result, the parasitic motion of Mech 4 is far less than that
of Mech 5 and Mech 6, even when their dimensions are the same,
as shown in Fig. 11.
Fig. 11 Comparison of parasitic motion for Mech 4Mech 6

Consequently, the parasitic motion and primary motion are modeled to predict the performance of the complaint linear-motion
mechanism. It needs to be emphasized that the internal forces are
entirely eliminated by the load relationship (14a), (14b), and (18),
as well as the geometric condition (19). So the advantages of the
building blocks method are displayed, and this method can be
extensively exploited in the design of complex flexural pivot and
compliant mechanism.

FEA Verification

First, in order to validate the model of configuration 3, FEA is


implemented using commercial package ANSYS, which is competent for large-deflection and nonlinear analysis. The beam3 element, with three motional degrees of freedom on each node, is
used to simulate the deformation. The shape parameters and material properties in all the compliant linear-motion mechanisms are
the same, which are listed in Table 3. Three typical mechanisms
with different geometric parameters are simulated, as listed in
Table 4.
The primary motion versus parasitic motion is simulated for Mech
1Mech 3, as shown in Fig. 10. The horizontal forces for driving
these three mechanisms are equal to the positive payloads (i.e., the
vertical force pm), respectively, as indicated in Fig. 10. Even though
the parasitic motion is influenced significantly by a large payload, its
magnitude is still small enough. So these mechanisms deriving from
configuration 3 are ultraprecise. Meanwhile, the model data are in
good agreement with the data obtained by FEA.
Then, in order to display the advantages of these proposed
configurations, Mech 4 deriving from configuration 7 are compared with other two compliant linear-motion mechanisms.
Here, Mech 5 are combined by four cartwheel flexural building
041012-8 / Vol. 4, NOVEMBER 2012

Conclusions

The generalized cross-spring pivots are utilized to synthesize


the compliant linear-motion mechanism, by replacing the rigid
joint in PFBM. Based on three schemes for parasitic motion compensation, six configurations are presented in terms of building
block method. And the characteristics of these mechanisms are
compared and evaluated. First, the range of motion is determined
by the length of link and the angular stroke of flexural pivot. So
the geometric parameter k should be far away from zero to
achieve the small stress level, and the link should be designed as
long as possible. Then, as the manufacturing performance is taken
into account, we suggest exploiting the monolithic generalized
cross-spring pivot. Meanwhile, in order to provide a design tool
for these ultraprecision linear-motion mechanisms, the design
space for geometric parameters l, a, and a is illustrated by the
graph.
For the sake of improving the performance of six configurations, the linear-motion mechanism combined by complex flexural
pivots is also presented. A larger range of motion is achieved;
moreover, the in-plane topologic space is made full use of, and
the mechanism is more compact. So this method is promising and
a plenty of compliant PFBM can be synthesized.
Furthermore, as a case study, the model for configuration 3 is
developed base on the building block method. The internal loads
are eliminated by taking advantage of the load relationship
between the flexural modules and the two kinematic chains. Thus,
the parasitic motion and primary motion can be quantitatively
predicted.
Finally, the validity and effectiveness of the developed model
for configuration 3 are verified by FEA. In addition, the simulation
data display that the parasitic motion for the proposed configuration is diminished greatly. Comparing with the other complaint
PFBM, the advantage of the proposed configurations is prominent.
Consequently, the prospect of this family of compliant linearmotion mechanism in precision engineering is promising.
Transactions of the ASME

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Acknowledgment
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of
National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos.
51105014, 50975007) and Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry
of Education of China (Grant No. 20091102110023).

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