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Safvan Palathingal1

Analysis and Design of Fixed–


Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Science, Fixed Bistable Arch-Profiles
Bengaluru 560012, Karnataka, India
e-mail: safvanp@iisc.ac.in Using a Bilateral Relationship
G. K. Ananthasuresh
Professor Arch-profiles of bistable arches, in their two force-free equilibrium states, are related to
Department of Mechanical Engineering, each other. This bilateral relationship is derived for arches with fixed–fixed boundary con-
Indian Institute of Science, ditions in two forms: a nonlinear single-variable equation for analysis and a closed-form
Bengaluru 560012, Karnataka, India analytical expression for design. Some symmetrical features of shape as well as necessary
e-mail: suresh@iisc.ac.in and sufficient conditions for bistability are presented as corollaries. Analysis and design of
arch-profiles using the bilateral relationship are illustrated through examples.
[DOI: 10.1115/1.4043044]

1 Introduction pinned-pinned bistable arches are valid for fixed–fixed arches bis-
table arches as well. Thus, we address the design of bistable arch-
Bistable arches, owing to their ability to maintain two force-free
profiles in microscale, mesoscale, and macroscale because it is
equilibrium states, find applications in mechanisms that need two
easy to achieve fixed conditions at any scale.
distinct stable configurations. An electric switch and a hair clip
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In Sec. 2, we derive
are two examples for such applications in everyday life. Bistable
the necessary and sufficient conditions of force-free equilibrium
mechanisms are used as microelectromechanical systems relay,
states using an energy approach. In Sec. 3, conditions on the funda-
switches, micro-mirrors, energy harvesters, micropositioning
mental mode weights and upper limit on the compression energy in
stages, chair for the elderly [1–5], etc. A bistable arch is the key
the arches are derived. Furthermore, the bilateral relationship is
mechanical element in these designs. Design and analysis of such
deduced from the necessary conditions derived in Sec. 2 and pre-
arches have been of interest among researchers in the field of
sented in two forms: one for analysis and the other for design.
mechanics [6–11]. In the case of microscale applications, such
Section 4 includes examples illustrating the use of relationship for
bistable arches with fixed–fixed end conditions are preferred as
analysis and design. The 3D-printed prototypes of the bistable mech-
they are amenable to microfabrication techniques. In this paper,
anisms validate the analytical relationship between arch-profiles in
we analyze and design arch-profiles of fixed–fixed bistable arches
the two stable states. Concluding remarks are presented in Sec. 5.
using an analytical relationship—which we derive—between the
arch-profiles in their force-free stable equilibrium states.
The existing analysis and design techniques for bistable arches 2 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Force-Free
[6,7,9,12] enable us to find the critical bistable characteristics [8] Equilibrium States in Fixed–Fixed Bistable Arches
such as switching and switch-back forces, switching and switch-back
displacements, and travel for a limited range of arch-profiles. In The Rayleigh–Ritz method is used to derive the necessary condi-
this work, we examine the bistability without considering the force- tions for the force-free equilibrium arch-profiles of bistable arch by
displacement characteristics. The necessary and sufficient conditions minimizing the total strain energy. For arbitrarily curved arches
derived here are at the force-free stable equilibrium states of the arch. with fixed–fixed boundary conditions (see Fig. 2), the initial
Thus, the importance is given to design arch-profiles of any shape at profile h(x) and the deformed profile w(x) are taken as the weighted
the force-free stable states using a closed-form analytical solution combinations of the buckling mode shapes of a straight fixed–fixed
instead of obtaining the force-displacement characteristic of the column. Arch-profiles obtained from such a choice of basis set are
arch. The design capabilities of analytical results are illustrated kinematically admissible and tend to show bistability [7,8].
through three design examples. One such example is that of a bistable By taking Ai and ai as the unknown weights corresponding to the
gripper to grasp a circular object as shown in Fig. 1. The details of the ith buckling mode shape, the normalized as-fabricated profile H(X )
final design are given in Sec. 4. and the normalized deformed shape W(X ) are written as
In an earlier work, Hsu [13] analyzed the relationship between
h(XL)  ∞
the stable equilibrium states in arches. However, he did not consider H(X) = = ai Wi (X) (1)
the upper bound on compression energy in the stable state of arches. hmid i=1
Furthermore, the design of bistable arch-profiles was not explored.
The design aspect of the bistable arch-profiles was first studied in w(XL)  ∞
our previous work [14], where we derived a bilateral relationship W(X) = = Ai Wi (X) (2)
between arch-profiles of bistable arches with pinned-pinned bound- hmid i=1
ary conditions. A wide range of design applications were illustrated where
in Ref. [14]. However, pinned-pinned boundary conditions pose a
practical difficulty in the fabrication of micromachined mecha- Wi (X)
nisms. This work extends the analytical tools developed for pinned- 
1 − cos (Mi X), i = 1, 3, 5 . . .
pinned to fixed–fixed boundary conditions. We show that the ana- = sin (M X) (3)
lytical bilateral relationship and insights derived from it for the 1 − 2X − cos (Mi X) + 2 M i , i = 2, 4, 6 . . .
i


(i + 1)π, i = 1, 3, 5 . . .
1
Corresponding author. Mi = (4)
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication 2.86π, 4.92π, 6.94π . . . , i = 2, 4, 6 . . .
in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received July 17, 2018; final
manuscript received February 19, 2019; published online April 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: X = x/L, L is the span of the arch, and hmid is the mid-span
David J. Cappelleri. height. Note that Mi, for i = 2, 4, 6, . . . , satisfies the equation tan

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Fig. 3 Double bistable arch with suppressed asymmetric
deformation

Such double-cosine arches, when they switch between the stable


Fig. 1 Schematic of a bistable gripper in the closed equilibrium states, do not undergo asymmetric switching [7,8].
configuration Nonetheless, the aforementioned analysis remains valid as the con-
straint does not affect the arch-profiles in their stable states, but
influences only the in-between deformation. However, the profiles
obtained from the design equations presented in this work need to
be made double curved while fabricating them as shown in Fig. 3.

3 Analytical Relationship Between Initial and Toggled


Profiles of Fixed–Fixed Bistable Arches
By using the necessary conditions for equilibrium, i.e., Eq. (7), a
bilateral relationship between force-free arch-profiles can be
Fig. 2 Fixed–fixed bistable arches with arbitrary initial profile obtained analytically. The key observation that leads to this deriva-
tion is that the constant C is common in Eq. (7) for all the values of i.
By solving for C from Eq. (7) when i = 1, Ai /ai is written in terms of
(Mi/2) = Mi/2 [15]. The total strain energy, which consists of the A1 /a1 and Mi. This step in turn simplifies the expansion for C to
bending and compression energies, is written in terms of the arrive at the bilateral relationship.
mode weights as [8,14] We begin this section by stating and proving two conditions
  on fundamental mode weights. Then, an upper limit on the term
1  ∞ ∞ ∞
3Q 2C that corresponds to the compression energy in the arch is
SE = a M +
2 4
Ai M i − 2
2 4 4
ai Ai Mi
4 i=1 i i i=1 i=1
obtained. Both these conditions are essential in deriving the bilateral
 2 relationship. Furthermore, the relationship is derived in forms ame-
3h2 ∞ ∞ nable for analysis and design. Subsequently, insights gained from
+ mid a2 2
M
i i − A 2 2
M
i i (5) the bilateral relationship are presented as corollaries.
8t 2 i=1 i=1

By minimizing the strain energy with respect to the unknown 3.1 Conditions on Fundamental Mode Weights of Fixed–
weights corresponding to the deformed profile, the necessary condi- Fixed Force-Free Shallow Bistable Arch.
tions for the force-free equilibrium states are obtained as
(1) The fundamental mode weight a1 is not zero in the initial
∂SE profile of a bistable arch.
=0 for i = 1, 2, 3, . . . ∞ (6) (2) The fundamental mode weight A1 is not zero in the toggled
∂Ai
profile of a bistable arch.
which simplify to [14]
In our previous work [14], the preceding conditions were shown
Ai (Mi2 − 3Q2 C) = ai Mi2 for i = 1, 2, 3, . . . ∞ (7) to hold for pinned–pinned boundary conditions. The proof for
fixed–fixed boundary conditions is similar, and the key difference
being M1 is 2π instead of π. Hence, the derivation is presented suc-

∞ 

C= a2i Mi2 − A2i Mi2 (8) cinctly. To prove the first condition, consider Eq. (7) with a1 = 0.
k=1 k=1
We have

where Q = hmid/t and t is the in-plane depth. The Hessian matrix H A1 (M12 − 3Q2 C) = 0 (12)
obtained by differentiating Eq. (5) twice should be positive definite
if the arch-profile pair obtained from the necessary conditions is
2
Here, 3Q C cannot be equal to = M12 4π 2
as it results in imaginary
stable. The diagonal elements in the matrix Hii and the nondiagonal solutions for A1 [14]. When 3Q C = 4π , from Eq. (7), we have
2 2

elements Hij are obtained as [14] ai Mi2


Ai = (13)
∂2 SE Mi4 3Q2 Mi2 C Mi2 − 3Q2 C
Hii = = − + 3Q2 A2i Mi4 (9)
∂A2i 2 2
ai Mi2
= , i = 2, 3, . . . ∞ (14)
∂2 SE Mi2− 4π 2
Hij = = 3Q2 Ai Aj Mi2 Mj2 (10)
∂Ai ∂Aj Thus, |Ai| is greater than |ai|, since Mi is greater than 2π for i greater
than 1. Therefore, we see from Eq. (8) that C is negative, which con-
Positive definiteness of H is checked by tradicts our starting assumption that C = 4π 2 /(3Q2 ). Furthermore,
vT Hv > 0 (11) by substituting a1 = 0 and 3Q 2C = 4π 2 in Eq. (8), we get that A21
is negative. So, the only real solution for Eq. (12) is when A1 = 0.
for all nonzero vectors v. However, we see next that these real solutions do not lead to
For cosine-curved bistable arches, the second asymmetric mode stable arch-profiles. We construct this argument on the stability of
of deformation needs to be suppressed to ensure bistable operation. the arch-profiles based on the Hessian H. By substituting A1 = 0
This can be shown mathematically using force-displacement char- in Eqs.(9) and (10), we see that the only element that remains
acteristics of a double-cosine arch [7]. This restraint is physically nonzero in the first row and column of H is H11. Hence, for
realized by connecting two cosine-curved arches at the center. the arch-profile to be stable, H11 = M12 /2(M12 − 3Q2 C) > 0.

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This implies that By using this relation, Eq. (8) is simplified as follows:

∞ 

3Q2 C < M12 (15) C= a2i Mi2 − A2i Mi2
i=1 i=1
where 3Q 2C, and thereby C, can be positive, negative, or zero ⎡ ⎤2
while satisfying this inequality. When C is positive, Eq. (13) ∞ ⎢ ⎥
implies that |Ai| is greater than |ai|. This further implies that C is neg- 
∞  ⎢ ai ⎥ 2
= a2i Mi2 − ⎢ ⎥ M
ative, which is a contradiction to starting assumption that C is pos- ⎣
M12 a1 ⎦ i
itive. A similar situation arises when C is assumed to be negative.
i=1 1− 2 1−
i=1
Mi A1
Hence, C should be zero while satisfying Eq. (15). This solution, ⎧ ⎫
ai = Ai, corresponds to the starting as-fabricated shape of the arch. ⎪
⎪ ⎪

Hence, the fundamental mode weight a1 is not zero in the initial ∞ ⎨⎪ ⎪

(20)
1
profile of a bistable arch. = 1−  a2i Mi2


i=1 ⎪ M 2
a
2 ⎪

To prove that the fundamental mode weight A1 is not zero in the ⎩ 1 − 12 1 −
1 ⎪

toggled profile of a bistable arch, we note that a1 = 0 when A1 = 0. Mi A1
We already showed that when a1 and A1 are zero, the arch has only a ⎧ ⎫

⎪ M12 a1 ⎪

single stable state.  ∞ ⎨⎪ 1 − − 2 ⎪

a1 Mi2 A1
= 1− 2
M1   a2i
A1 ⎪

i=1 ⎪ M 2
a
2 ⎪

⎩ 1 − 12 1 − 1 ⎪

3.2 An Upper Limit on 3Q 2C for Fixed–Fixed Boundary
Mi A1
Conditions. The term 3Q 2C is the measure of the change of
length of the arch. We obtain an upper limit on 3Q 2C to aid in By substituting for C in Eq. (7), we get
derivation of the bilateral relationship and corollaries presented
thereafter. Let us assume that 3Q 2C = j 2π 2 at the force-free equilib- Ai =
ai
rium state. For the arch to be bistable, H11 and the determinant 3Q2 C
of the upper left 2 × 2 corner of H, H11 H22 − H12 2
, should be posi- 1−
Mi2
tive, i.e., ai
= ⎧ ⎫

⎪ M12 a1 ⎪
M14 3Q2 M12 C ⎪ 1− −2 ⎪ ⎪
H11 = − + 3Q2 A21 M14 3Q2 M12 a1 ∞ ⎨ Mi2 A1 ⎬
2 2 1− 1 −   a2
  Mi2 A1 i=1

⎪ M 2
a
2⎪ i

= π 4 8 − 2j2 + 48Q2 A21 > 0 (16) ⎪
⎩ 1 − 12 1 − 1 ⎪

Mi A1
=⇒ j2 < 4 + 24Q2 A21 (21)
By comparing the denominators in Eqs. (19) and (21), we get
H11 H22 − 2
H12 = C1 j + C2 j + C3 > 0
4 2
(17) ⎧ ⎫

⎪ M12 a1 ⎪
∞ ⎨⎪ 2
1− −2 ⎪ ⎪

M A 1
where C1, C2, and C3 can be expressed in terms of A1, A2, and Q. 3Q2 
i
 a2 = 1 (22)
We observe that Eq. (17) is a quadratic expression in j 2. This ⎪
i=1 ⎪ M 2
a
2⎪ i

⎪ 1− 1 1−
⎩ 1 ⎪

expression takes the values 821.51π 8 A21 Q2 , −1680.59π 8 2 2
A2 Q , and

Mi2 A1
−9642.44π A1 A2 Q when j is 2, 2.86, and 4 + 24Q A21 , respec-
8 2 2 4 2

tively. This suggests that H11 H22



H122
is negative when j is Note that we have ignored the trivial solution corresponding to the
initial profile (Ai = ai) in writing Eq. (22). This equation can be
greater than 2.86 but less than 4 + 24Q2 A21 . This condition written in terms of Ais by substituting for ai from Eq. (19) as
along with Eq. (16) implies that j should be less than 2.86 when
the arch is in a force-free stable equilibrium state. Also, in Sec.  ∞ 2 2 
3.1, while proving the conditions on the fundamental mode a1  Ai M 1 ∞
3Q 1−
2
−2 Ai = 1
2
(23)
weights, it was shown that 3Q 2C ≠ 4π 2 in the second stable state. A1 i=1 Mi2 i=1
Thus, for a bistable arch in its force-free equilibrium state,
3Q2 C ≠ Mi2 . On rearranging the terms, we get a closed-form expression
for a1:

3.3 Bilateral Relationship for Fixed–Fixed Boundary ∞ M12 A2i  1


Conditions. We first derive a relation between Ai and ai by i=1 −2 ∞ i=1 Ai −
2
Mi2 3Q2
expressing 3Q 2C in terms of a1, A1, and M1. In Sec. 3.1, we a1 = A1 (24)
∞ M12 A2i
showed that A1 and a1 are nonzero in the stable equilibrium states i=1
of the bistable arch. By using Eq. (7) for i = 1, this helps us to Mi2
write 3Q 2C as Equations (19), (22), and (24) capture the bilateral relationship
between the force-free profiles of a bistable arch. Equation (22)
a1 is used for analysis, i.e., to obtain the stressed toggled profile for
3Q2 C = M12 − M12 (18)
A1 a given stress-free as-fabricated profile. This equation reduces
to a nonlinear equation in a single variable A1 once the
By substituting Eq. (18) in Eq. (7), Ais for i > 1 can be written as as-fabricated shape (ais) is specified. By using Eq. (19), remain-
ing Ais can be obtained. To design bistable arches for a desired
ai toggled profile, i.e., to obtain the values of ais given Ais, the
Ai = (19) closed-form analytical relation equation (24) is used. This form
M12 a1
1− 2 1− of the bilateral relationship is immensely useful because design-
Mi A1 ing the initial profile of a bistable arch is not straightforward.

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Otherwise, for example, if one were to design using trial-and- valid for i ≥ m. By substituting Eq. (26) in Eq. (22), we get
error approach with finite element analysis (FEA), even multiple
trials of as-fabricated profile might not assure the desired toggle 

1
A21 + a1 A1 + 2 a2i + =0 (27)
profile. The bistability of the arch-profile pairs obtained from i=m
3Q2
analysis and design problems is checked for sufficiency condi-
tion using Eq. (11). Section 4 comprises examples using the For the arch to be bistable, Eq. (27) should have two real
bilateral relationship for design and analysis of arch-profiles. roots, i.e., the discriminant needs to be positive. Thus, we
We discuss a few useful insights of the bilateral relationship have
before that.

n
4
a21 − 8 a2i − >0 (28)
i=m
3Q2
3.4 Corollaries. In this section, we summarize results and
insights pertaining to the magnitude and sign of the mode weights
deduced from the bilateral relationship. 4 Illustrative Examples
(1a) For i > 1, Ai = 0 implies ai = 0 and vice versa. When ai is 4.1 Analysis. The nonlinear form of the bilateral relationship,
zero, Eq. (7) becomes i.e., Eq. (22), is used to obtain the toggled second stable profile of
the bistable arch for a given as-fabricated profile. Consider the
Ai (Mi2 − 3Q2 C) = 0 (25) initial profile specified in Fig. 4. As mentioned earlier, the initial
2
In Sec. 3.2, we showed that 3Q C cannot be equal to Mi2 profile considered here is a double curve to restrict the asymmetric
when the arch is in a stable equilibrium state. Thus, Eq. switching mode in the arch. The first step in the analysis is to rep-
(25) implies that Ai = 0. To prove the converse, we see resent this profile in the basis of buckling mode shapes as in Eq. (1);
from Eq. (7) that ai = 0 when Ai = 0. here, the first 20 buckling mode shapes are used for the approxima-
(1b) The toggled profile of a bistable arch with the symmetric tion. Thus, we have the ais (i = 1, 2, . . . , 20) corresponding to this
initial profile will also be symmetric and vice versa. profile. For hmid = 10 mm and t = 0.5 mm, Q is 20. By numerically
From Corollary 1a, we know that when am = 0, corre- solving Eq. (22), A1 is obtained to be −0.5388. Remaining Ais are
sponding Am is also zero for m = 2, 4, 6, . . . ∞, i.e., the found using Eq. (19). The toggled profile is given in Fig. 5. The
toggled profile is symmetric when the initial profile is sym- matrix H is found to be positive definite. We know that every
metric. Similarly, the converse is also true. as-fabricated profile might not exhibit bistability. Such cases
(1c) For i > 1, Ai ≠ 0 implies ai ≠ 0 and vice versa. would result in H with negative eigenvalues. When compared to
As mentioned before in Sec. 3.2, 3Q 2C cannot be equal to the bistable arch profiles with pinned-pinned boundary conditions,
2 one would come across more fixed–fixed profiles that are not bis-
Mi such that the resulting toggled profile is stable. Thus,
table. This can be attributed to the compliance at the ends for a
from Eq. (7), if a mode weight is nonzero in one of the
pinned arch compared to a fixed arch. The pinned arch by rotating
stable states, its corresponding mode weight in the other
at the ends reduces the compression energy stored in the second
stable state is also nonzero.
stable state. Thus, allowing a broader range of arch-profiles that
(1d) Toggled-profile of a bistable arch with asymmetric initial
are bistable.
profile will also be asymmetric and vice versa.
If a bistable arch is asymmetric, at least one mode weight
corresponding to an asymmetric mode is not zero in its
as-fabricated shape. From Corollary 1c, we have that the
same mode will be nonzero in the other stable state as well.
(2a) (a1A1) < 0.
This can be deduced
 from the bilateral
∞ relationship for
design. The term ∞ M 2 2
i=1 1 iA /M 2
i − 2 A
i=1 i
2
− 1/3Q 2
in
Eq. (24) is negative because M12 /Mi2 is always less than 2.
Thus, the signs of a1 and A1 are different.
(2b) (ai>1Ai>1) > 0. We proved in Sec. 3.2 that 3Q 2C should be
less than 2.862π 2. This implies that the maximum value of
1 − a1 /A1 is less than 1.045 (from Eq. (18)). Hence,
1/i2 (1 − a1 /A1 ) cannot exceed unity for any value of i.
Thus, from Eq. (19), we see that the sign of Ai is determined
by the sign of ai and vice versa, for i > 1. Fig. 4 Specified and approximated initial profiles
(3a) (inexact) Ai is approximately equal to ai for higher values
of i.
Corollary 3a is an approximate result that becomes accu-
rate for larger values of i. This result is obtained by neglect-
ing the term M12 /Mi2 (1 − a1 /A1 ) in Eq. (19). Hence, Eq. (19)
becomes
Ai ≈ ai (26)
In Corollary 2b, we observed that 1 − ai/Ai is less than
1.045. Hence, the approximation ai ≈ Ai will have a
maximum error of 3.5% if i is greater than 10.
(3b) (inexact) For arch-profiles composed of only ais with higher
values of i (i ≥ m, where m is the least value of i such that
Corollary 3a is valid) along with a1, a21 − 8 ∞i=m ai − 3Q2 >
2 4

0 is necessary and sufficient for bistability.


For arch-profiles with only higher mode shapes (i ≥ m) Fig. 5 Toggled profile corresponding to the initial profile in
along with the fundamental mode shape, Corollary 3a is Fig. 4

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In the next example, a quartic polynomial is taken as the ini- The solid curve is obtained from the bilateral relationship, and the
tial profile of the arch. The height H(X ) can be expressed as dotted curve is obtained from nonlinear FEA using continuum ele-
8X 2(X − 1)2 as shown in Fig. 6. The toggled profile of the arch ments. The analytical prediction and FEA show good agreement,
for Q = 20 is given in Fig. 7. whereas the 3D-printed profile shows slight deviations from the pre-
dicted profile. This is mainly due to the stiffening that happens at the
center of the arch due to the interconnection between the arches.
4.2 Design. The bilateral relationship in the form given in
Eq. (24) is a powerful design tool. Similar to the example in Sec.
4.1, the first step involves representing the desired toggled profile
in the form of Eq. (2). By taking Q = 20, ais are obtained from
Eqs. (19) and (24); the corresponding arch-profile to the toggled
profile taken in Fig. 8 is given in Fig. 9. Positive definitiveness of
H is ensured for bistability.
Can we design an arch such that the inverted form of arch-profile
considered in Fig. 4 is the toggled profile? Such an arch can be used
as an initially curved valve mechanism as shown in Fig. 10. By
taking the ais of the profile in Fig. 4 as the Ais in the design equation
(Eq. (24)), the obtained initial profile is shown in Fig. 12. Note
that the arch-profile in Figs. 4 and 11 are stress-free and stressed,
respectively.
With the aid of the analytical equations for the stable profiles,
arches with specific change in slope at any point on the arch can
be designed. The point of interests are taken at X = 0.25 and X = Fig. 8 Specified arch-profile in the second stable state
0.75. For the geometric parameters hmid = 13.46 mm, t = 0.5 mm,
and L = 100 mm, an enclosing mechanism design using a bistable
arch is given in Fig. 13. When the arch is in the second stable
state, the mechanism forms an enclosure due to a 45° rotation of
the vertical arms attached to the initial arch profile. A 3D-printed
model of the design is given in Fig. 14. Note that all the arch-
profiles designed using the analytical equations presented here
have zero slopes at the end.
The 3D-printed prototypes of the design examples in their two
stable states are given in Fig. 15. The shape of the arch-profiles
match with the analytical prediction. The design cases of the bis-
table valve and gripper considered are verified using FEA and the
arch-profiles in the second stable state are compared in Fig. 16.

Fig. 9 Initial profile designed using Eq. (24)

Fig. 6 As-fabricated profile of the arch


Fig. 10 Schematic of a bistable valve mechanism

Fig. 7 Toggled profile corresponding to the initial profile in


Fig. 6 Fig. 11 Specified arch-profile in the second stable state

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(a)

(b)

Fig. 12 Initial profile designed using Eq. (24)

Fig. 15 3D-printed bistable arches with fixed boundary


0.04 conditions

0.03

0.02

0.01

0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

0.02

0.01 450 450

-0.01

-0.02

0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

Fig. 13 Bistable arch with a change of angle of 45 deg at x = 0.25


mm for hmid = 13.46 mm, t = 0.5 mm, and L = 100 mm

Fig. 16 Verification of the analytical profiles using FEA and


3D-printed prototypes
(a)
5 Summary
In this work, a bilateral relationship for analyzing and designing
arch-profiles with fixed–fixed boundary conditions is presented.
Corollaries presented further improves the understanding of the
changes in magnitudes and signs of mode weights of the arch-
profile as they switch from the one stable state to other. Design
examples of bistable arches and mechanisms using bistable arches
are presented to illustrate the ease of design using the bilateral
(b) relationship. We note that the analytical solutions given in this
paper are insightful in design because they allow visualization of
the other shape rather easily; and they indicate if a given stress-free
arch-profile is bistable without having to perform finite element
analysis. This work appends to our earlier work on arch-profiles
with pinned–pinned boundary conditions [14]. Since bistable
arches with fixed–fixed boundary conditions are easier to fabricate
Fig. 14 3D-printed gripper in its open (a) and closed (b) in microscale, this addition enables the design of arch-profiles of
configurations bistable micromechanisms.

031002-6 / Vol. 11, JUNE 2019 Transactions of the ASME

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