The compliant mechanism can effectively reduce friction and eliminate the joint gap during the motion. The performances of compliant joints directly determine the overall behavior of mechanisms. In this paper, a new type of compliant joint is designed based on weakened creases and elastic–plastic materials. Parametric analysis is carried out to investigate the influence of compliant joint details on its structural performances by combining finite element methods and experiments. The compliant joints are evaluated and optimized regarding the rotational stiffness and plastic strain magnitude of the slot region. In addition, the optimized compliant joint is introduced to the Miura unit. The configuration analysis is performed for the folding, unfolding, and releasing processes, which are further extended to the discussion on the cyclic performance of the compliant joint. It can be found that the origami-inspired structures can maintain a high residual stiffness after the release process. Finally, the methodology is applied to the Miura origami array embedded with the designed compliant joint. The results of dimensional errors and stress distributions can show that the design of the compliant joints can effectively control the configuration of the Miura origami array. The principle in this paper can open a new avenue to design and utilize the compliant in the deployable or morphing structures.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues