Designing mechanical products in a competitive environment can present unique challenges, and designers constantly search for innovative ways to increase efficiency. One way to save space and reduce cost is to use ortho-planar compliant mechanisms which can be made from sheets of material, or lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs). This thesis presents principles which can be used for designing LEMs. Pop-up paper mechanisms use topologies similar to LEMs, so it is advantageous to study their kinematics. This thesis outlines the use of planar and spherical kinematics to model commonly used pop-up paper mechanisms. A survey of common joint types is given, as well as an overview of common monolithic and layered mechanisms. In addition, it is shown that more complex mechanisms may be created by combining simple mechanisms in various ways. The principles presented are applied to the creation of new pop-up joints and mechanisms, which also may be used for lamina emergent mechanisms. Models of the paper mechanisms presented in Chapter 2 of the thesis are found in the appendix, and the reader is encouraged to print, cut out and assemble them. One challenge associated with spherical and spatial LEM design is creating joints with the desired motion characteristics, especially where complex spatial mechanism topologies are required. Hence, in addition to a study of paper mechanisms, some important considerations for designing joints for LEMs are presented. A technique commonly used in robotics, using serial chains of revolute and prismatic joints to approximate the motion of complex joints, is presented for use in LEMs. Important considerations such as linkage configuration and mechanism prototyping are also discussed. Another challenge in designing LEMs is creating multi-stable mechanisms with the ability to have coplanar links. A method is presented for offsetting the joint axes of a spatial compliant mechanism to introduce multi-stability. A new bistable spatial compliant linkage that uses that technique is introduced. In the interest of facilitating LEM design, the final chapter of this thesis presents a preliminary design method. While similar to traditional methods, this method includes considerations for translating the mechanism topology into a suitable configuration for use with planar layers of material.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


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paper mechanism, pop-up, popup, pop up, mechanism, linkage, paper engineering, paper crafts, origami, kinematics, spatial mechanism, planar mechanism, bistable, multi-stable, spherical mechanism, ortho-planar, compliant, PRBM, pseudo-rigid-body model, Lamina Emergent Mechanism, LEM, sheet goods, planar layer, complex joint, elemental joint, spatial joint, degrees of freedom, mechanism modeling, mechanism design, serial joint chain, parallel, series, fundamental components, complex motion, revolute, prismatic, spherical, cylindric, universal, half, planar, RSSR, RCCC, RSRC, RTRT, Altmann, Bricard, Bennett, Goldberg, 6R, 4R, joint axis, angular offset, paper joint, V-fold, circular arch, figure-8, single slit, double slit, tube strap, arch, knee mechanism, 45 degree fold, solid shape, floating layer, tent