Limited resources are currently available to assist engineers in implementing compliant members into mechanical designs. As a result, engineers often have little to no direction incorporating compliant mechanisms. This thesis develops a conceptual design framework and process that utilizes a proposed classification scheme and a library of mechanisms to help engineers incorporate compliant mechanisms into their applications. As the knowledge related to the synthesis and analysis of compliant mechanisms continues to grow and mature, and through the classification scheme established in this thesis, compliant mechanisms may become more extensively used in commercial mechanical designs. This thesis also demonstrates a design approach engineers can use to convert an existing rigid-body mechanism into a compliant mechanism by using the established classification scheme and a library of compliant mechanisms. This approach proposes two possible techniques that use rigid-body replacement synthesis in conjunction with a compliant mechanism classification scheme. One technique replaces rigid-body elements with a respective compliant element. The other technique replaces a complex rigid-body mechanism by decomposing the mechanism into simpler functions and then replacing a respective rigid-body mechanism with a compliant mechanism that has a similar functionality. These techniques are then demonstrated by developing and designing a competitive and feasible compliant road bicycle brake system.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





compliant mechanisms, design methodology, lamina emergent mechanisms, classification scheme