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Flexure hinge has been commonly used as a substitute for mechanical joints in the design of micropositioning mechanisms. However, inaccurate modeling of flexure hinges deteriorates the positioning accuracy. In this paper, a planar 3-DOF parallel-type micropositioning mechanism is designed with the intention of accurate flexure hinge modeling. For this, a preliminary kinematic analysis that includes inverse kinematics, internal kinematics, and analytic stiffness modeling referenced to the task coordinate is presented. First, the revolute type of 1-DOF flexure hinge is considered. The simulation result based on the finite element method, however, is not coincident to the analytic result. This is due to the minor axial elongation along the link direction that keeps the mechanism from precise positioning. To cope with this problem, a 2-DOF flexure hinge model that includes this additional motion degree as a prismatic joint is employed in part, and additional actuators are added to compensate for the motion of this new model. On the basis of this model, the positional accuracy is ensured. The effectiveness of this accurate model is shown through both simulation and experimentation. This paper emphasizes that the precise modeling of a flexure hinge is significant to guarantee the positional accuracy of parallel micromechanisms using flexure hinge.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003