Developable compliant-aided rolling-contact mechanisms

T.G. Nelson, Just L. Herder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Rolling-contact mechanisms can provide low-friction motion with unique kinematic paths. We show that developable surfaces can be used as a design tool for rolling-contact mechanisms joined with compliant bands. These mechanisms can exhibit 3D motion paths, couple rotational and translational motions into a single degree of freedom, and can be designed to exhibit various tailored kinetic responses. We set forth developable surface parametrizations well suited to the creation of rolling contacts. We highlight how the geodesic and principal curvatures of the non-ruling principal curves of a developable surface are meaningful design quantities for rolling contacts. We provide kinematic and kinetic analyses and demonstrate several developable compliant-aided rolling-contact mechanisms in physical prototypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-242
JournalMechanism and Machine Theory
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Compliant
  • Curvature
  • Developable
  • Joint
  • Rolling contact
  • Ruled surface


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