Monolithic binary stiffness building blocks for mechanical digital machines

P. R. Kuppens*, M. A. Bessa, J. L. Herder, J. B. Hopkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We introduce two essential building blocks with binary stiffness for mechanical digital machines. The large scale fully compliant mechanisms have rectilinear and rotational kinematics and use a new V-shaped negative stiffness structure to create two extreme states of stiffness by static balancing. The use of a mechanical bistable switch allows us to toggle between near-zero-stiffness and high-stiffness states, effectively turning off and on stiffness. A stiffness reduction of 98.8% and 99.9% is achieved for linear and rotary motion over a range of 13.3% (20mm) and 0.4rad (23∘) respectively. Stiffness states can be reversibly changed by toggling the mechanical switch, or irreversibly by actuating the main stage. These binary stiffness mechanisms could set the stage for a new type of mechanical logic, adaptive and programmable metamaterials and other types of digital mechanical devices. Practical mechanical digital machines and materials require miniaturized and easily micro-manufactured components. We have therefore carefully considered scalability by integrating all required structures into a planar and monolithic architecture. This allows miniaturization and fabrication with conventional surface-micro-machining and additive manufacturing such as photolithography, two-photon lithography and fused deposition modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101120
Number of pages9
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Digital mechanism
  • Mechanical logic
  • Metamaterials
  • Static balancing
  • Zero stiffness

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