Computational Aspects of the Design of Micro Mechanical Hinged Structures
Joint work with Bruce Donald.
We are interested in determining the shape of
micro mechanical hinged structures [3], given specifications
of their parameterized geometry and their functionality.
Interactions between mechanism components are reflected in their
configuration space (Cspace).
Each pair of components in contact is responsible for a surface
region in Cspace.
Adjacency relationships
of these regions define a Cspace graph whose nodes represent contact
states of the mechanism, and whose edges represent physically feasible
state transitions.
Parameterized components result in parameterized regions, and thus
parameterized Cspace graphs.
Functionality requirements may dictate properties of
parts of the Cspace graph,
e.g. a certain start or an end state, or a certain path of states.
We describe an algorithm that determines values of design parameters
such that given functional requirements are satisfied.
The figures above show a parameterized Cspace from two different points
of view.
The corresponding mechanism has two degrees of freedom (x and y axis),
and one design parameter (z axis). Different horizontal slices of this graph
may have very different shapes. This means that the corresponding
designs exhibit different functionality.
Publications:

K.F. Böhringer,
A Computational Approach to the Design of Micromechanical Hinged Structures.
Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Solid Modeling and Applications,
Montréal, Québec, Canada (May, 1993).

K.F. Böhringer,
Application of Computational Topology to the Design of Microelectromechanical Structures.
Proceedings of the NSF Design and Manufacturing Systems Grantees Conference,
Charlotte, North Carolina (January 1993).
Also of interest:

K. S. J. Pister, M. W. Judy, S. R. Burgett, and R. S. Fearing,
Microfabricated Hinges. SAA, 33(3):249256 (1992).

Rama Prasad, K.F. Böhringer, and N. C. MacDonald,
Design, Fabrication, and Characterization of SCS
Latching Snap Fasteners for Micro Assembly,
To appear in Proc. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE'95),
San Francisco, California (November 1995).
karl@cs.cornell.edu