Lamina emergent compliant mechanisms (including origami-adapted compliant mechanisms) are mechanical devices that can be fabricated from a planar material (a lamina) and have motion that emerges out of the fabrication plane. Lamina emergent compliant mechanisms often exhibit undesirable parasitic motions due to the planar fabrication constraint.
Membrane-enhanced lamina emergent torsion (M-LET) joints were developed that constrain motion in unde-sired directions while not limiting motion in the direction in which the joint is designed to move. This technology consists of a LET joint that reduces parasitic motions of lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs) and presents equations for modeling parasitic motion of LET joints.
M-LET also makes possible a one-way joint that can ensure origami-based mechanisms emerge from their flat state (a change point) into the desired configuration. The membrane adds a minimal increase in stiffness in the desired direction of motion, but it significantly increases stiffness in directions in which the traditional LET joint has undesired parasitic motion. The integration of M-LET joints as surrogate folds can reduce parasitic motions and increase precision and repeatability.
The invention is useful for developing high-performance, origami-inspired compliant mechanisms where high accuracy and high repeatability are required.