Nano Science and Technology Institute
Nanotech 2001 Vol. 1
Nanotech 2001 Vol. 1
Technical Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems
Chapter 7: Applications: MEMS, Sensors

Modeling the Effects of Joint Clearances in Planar Micromechanisms

Authors:J.W. Wittwer, L.L. Howell and K.W. Chase
Affilation:Brigham Young University, US
Pages:374 - 377
Keywords:joint clearances, precision, mechanical error
Abstract: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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