Design optimization of a fully-compliant bistable micro-mechanism

Brian D. Jensen, Matthew B. Parkinson, Katsuo Kurabayashi, Larry L. Howell, Michael S. Baker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Bistable behavior is desirable for a variety of applications because power is applied only during switching, and the mechanism state remains the same regardless of any power interruptions. The low variability in the stable positions also makes accurate open-loop control of many systems possible, and the precise switching characteristics make them valuable in sensing arrays. In this paper, fully-compliant bistable micromechanisms were modeled using finite elements. This model was then coupled with an optimization program, allowing extensive exploration of the design space. Three designs within this space were generated by minimizing the layout size of the devices subject to force constraints. These designs were subsequently manufactured and tested to verify bistability, with each mechanism snapping as expected between the two stable positions. The design space was then further explored to determine the behavior of the device as the maximum force output increased. This study revealed that the minimum layout size increases with the maximum force output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2001
Event2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition - New York, NY, United States
Duration: Nov 11 2001Nov 16 2001


Other2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York, NY

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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