On the Nomenclature and Classification of Compliant Mechanisms. the Components of Mechanisms


Compliant mechanisms gain some or all of their mobility from the flexibility of their members rather than from rigid-body joints only. Compliant mechanisms are desirable since they require fewer parts, and have less wear, noise, and backlash than their rigid-body counterpart mechanisms. The field of compliant mechanisms is important, and is expected to continue to grow as materials with superior properties are developed. Inasmuch as evolution of efficient design techniques is viewed as essential research activity, a parallel, systematic development of appropriate vocabulary (nomenclature, classification, etc.) is of primary importance. This paper proposes standard nomenclature for the components of compliant mechanisms and discusses the relevant issues involved in this process. Definitions for components, such as 'links' and 'joints,' remove ambiguity that has been associated with these terms in the past. A concerted effort is made to be consistent with current literature on both rigid-body mechanisms and compliant mechanisms whenever possible.

Meeting Name

22nd Biennial Mechanisms Conference


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Joints (Structural Components); Kinematics

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1992 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1992

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