A method is provided and validated for redesigning compliant segments to improve their fatigue, creep, and stress relaxation performance. The method reduces the bending stress in the polymer portion of the compliant segment without the need for overall mechanism redesign, by introducing metallic reinforcement and by matching the force-deflection response of the redesigned segment to that of the baseline segment. An example redesign case study is presented and validated with experimental testing using a unique deflection testing device designed for fixed-free compliant mechanisms. This vein of research is undertaken using metallic reinforcement (inserts) toward the development of a new class of compliant mechanisms with significantly greater performance, particularly insofar as the problems of fatigue and creep are concerned.

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