Abstract

This paper proposes incorporating compliant mechanisms into the design of minimally invasive surgical tools to help overcome current tool limitations — particularly to increase multifunctionality. To perform multiple unique functions, a compliant mechanism is designed with a single topology that allows multiple input forces to independently produce distinct output displacements. A multicriteria topology optimization procedure is developed for the design of compliant mechanisms, and the procedure is executed using Matlab. This method generates topologies displaying both sufficient compliance and stiffness for each load case by formulating the objective function as a ratio of mutual potential energy to strain energy. The total objective function is then assembled as the weighted sum of the objective functions for each load case. The optimization procedure is illustrated through the generation of topologies for a device based on a grasperscissors combination tool. Also addressed are factors which significantly influence the resulting solution, such as the weighting function value and starting point.

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