Compliant mechanisms, translational joints, conceptual design, parallelogram, straight-line motion, combination method
Compliant translational joints (CPJs) have been extensively used in precision engineering and MEMS (microelectromechanical systems). There is an increasing need for designing higher-performance CPJs. This paper deals with the conceptual design of CPJs via three approaches: parallelogram based method, straight-line motion mechanism based method, and combination based method. Typical emerging CPJ designs are reviewed by explaining their design principles and qualitatively analyzing their characteristics. New CPJs are proposed using the three approaches, including an asymmetric double parallelogram mechanism with slaving mechanism, several compact and symmetric double parallelogram mechanisms with slaving mechanisms, a general CPJ using the center drift compensation, a CPJ using Roberts linkage, and several combination designs. This paper provides an overview of the current advances/progresses of CPJ designs and lays the foundation for the further optimization, quantitative analysis, and characteristic comparisons.