Statically-balanced compliant micromechanisms
Nima Tolou, Juan A. Gallego and Just L. Herder
Compliant mechanisms play an important role in micromechanical structures for MEMS applications. However, the positive stiffness of these mechanisms remains a significant drawback. This stiffness can be compensated by including a static balancing mechanism (SBM), resulting in a statically-balanced compliant micromechanism (SB-CMM). This article presents design methods, concepts and simulation results of such mechanisms, which could be applied to MEMS (SB-MEMS). Two categories of SB-CMMs are presented, with the preloading force and travel path either (1) perpendicular to each other, or (2) parallel to each other. These concepts provide compliant mechanisms with approximately zero stiffness in a finite range of motion. Their application can ultimately result in a reliable, smaller, and energyefficient microsystem, having a larger useful travel range.