Flexures Make This Six-DOF Positioner Accurate To The Micron Level

It is no secret that we consider flexures are quite awesome, and we’ve highlighted a variety of assignments that leverage these compliant mechanisms to good effect. But when we saw flexures made use of in a six-DOF positioner with micron precision, we just had to dig a tiny further.

The product is acknowledged as the Hexblade, and it arrives to us from the lab of [Jonathan Hopkins] at UCLA. We have to confess that at times, the online video below feels a minor like the “Turbo Encabulator” schtick — “three similar decoupled actuation limbs arranged in an axisymmetric configuration” may possibly be flawlessly descriptive, but it does not flow trippingly from the tongue. Hats off to [Professor Hopkins] for nailing the narration, even though, and definitely, the moment you get a manage on the jargon, it all makes fantastic feeling. The system is supported by a total of 6 flexures, which seem like bent pieces of sheet steel but are actually reduce from a stable block of content applying wire EDM. Three of the flexures are oriented in the aircraft of the platform, while the other a few are perpendicular to it. The considerably close of every single flexure is related to a voice-coil actuator that is surrounded by an additional flexure, this just one in a parallelogram arrangement. The six actuators can shift the platform smoothly as a result of 3 linear translations (X, Y, and Z) and 3 rotations (roll, pitch, and yaw).

The platform’s variety of motion is restricted, but the advantages of making use of flexures as bearings are crystal clear — there’s no backlash or hysteresis, and the voice coils can regulate the situation of the stage to micron precision. Anything like the Hexblade would be an excellent positioner for microscopy, and we can picture an even scaled-down version, perhaps even a MEMS-fabricated one for nanomanufacturing purposes. The initial thought of the Hexblade serving as the print head for a fabrication robot for place apps is quite awesome, way too, and we’d venture to say that a homebrew version of this in all probability isn’t out of get to possibly.

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=eXULfD94gho

Thanks to [IraqiGeek] for the idea.

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