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Mechanism and Machine Theory

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A significant amount of research has been directed toward developing a more intuitive appreciation of spatial elastic behavior. Results of these analyses have often been described in terms of the elastic behavior (stiffness or compliance) centers. This paper investigates the properties of centers of stiffness and compliance and provides a fresh view of elastic center locations, specifically, the locus of centers associated with a given mechanism’s topology and geometry. We show that the location of the center of stiffness (compliance) for a set of elastic components connected in parallel (in serial) can be described in terms similar to the location of the center of mass for a set of mass particles. This provides a physical interpretation of the centers associated with a compliant behavior, and a useful guide in the design of mechanisms that realize desirable compliant behaviors.


Accepted version. Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 167 (January 2022): 104565. DOI. © 2022 Elsevier. Used with permission.

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