Modeling the Effects of Joint Clearances in Planar Micromechanisms

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Surface micromachining of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) has inherent limitations that can lead to mechanisms having an undesirable amount of clearance in revolute and prismatic joints. In micro devices, where actua-tion of the mechanisms is often limited by the displacement capabilities of actuators, the effects of joint clearances become significant. This paper details a modeling technique that is suited to the particular sources of clearance found in surface-micromachined mechanisms. Clearance vector models are used where the clearances are represented as vectors having variable lengths and directions. The preci-sion error of any point on any rigid link can be determined, in addition to the error in link angles, by comparison with the ideal (zero clearance) model. A bistable compliant mechanism is used as an example.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems
Published: March 19, 2001
Pages: 374 - 377
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Chemical, Physical & Bio-Sensors, MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 0-9708275-0-4