Pseudo rigid body model for a nonlinear folding compliant mechanism

Brianne Hargrove*, Angela Nastevska, Mary Frecker, Jovana Jovanova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Folding compliant mechanisms have the potential to be used for innovative designs tailored for specific applications such as energy absorption, shape morphing, or stress relief. This tailorability relies on multiple variables that define the geometric and material behavior. The combined effort of the geometric and material nonlinearity can emphasize certain features in the design that, individually, would not be possible. Folding as a concept is very important in origami engineering and requires careful choice in the design variables when it comes to dimensions and material properties. Finite element analyses for folding at the level of a unit cell, as well as the overall structural design, can be cumbersome and computationally expensive. Therefore, in this work, a segmented pseudo rigid body model that captures a high level of flexibility is developed for both a superelastic material, which is characterized using a shape memory alloy, and a hyperelastic, rubber-like material. By increasing the number of segments, the model allows the structure to undergo large deformations. The results from the segmented model are compared with FEA for the folding compliant mechanism. 3D-printing and experimental testing of the compliant mechanism is also explored.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105017
Number of pages22
JournalMechanism and Machine Theory
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • 3D-printing
  • Compliant mechanisms
  • Hyperelasticity
  • Pseudo rigid body model
  • Shape memory alloys
  • Superelasticity


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