Title: Design and fabrication of a microgripper with a topology optimal compliant mechanism

Authors: Shyh-Chour Huang, Chien-Ching Chiu, Wei-Liang Chen

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, 415 Chien-Kung Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 807, ROC. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, 415 Chien-Kung Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 807, ROC. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, 415 Chien-Kung Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 807, ROC

Abstract: This study describes a new way of using a topology optimum compliant mechanism and a V-shaped beam electrothermal microactuator to design a microgripper. The compliant mechanism is a two-dimensional structure, and it employs flexibility to generate movement without any hinge. Topology optimisation means defining a design domain that has infinite possible shapes. In the topology optimisation procedure, the finite-element method is used to analyse the design domain structure and optimisation theory is applied to solve the problem. This study also discusses the effects of the optimum result when different parameters are defined in topology optimisation. The resulting prototype gripper displacement is as large as 43 µm for 1 V input.

Keywords: microgrippers; topology optimisation; V-shaped electrothermal microactuators; compliant mechanisms; microelectromechanical systems; MEMS; microgripper design; finite element method; FEM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCMSSE.2009.027487

International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering, 2009 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.282 - 301

Published online: 28 Jul 2009 *

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