UPCOMING: 2024 Practicum on Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Materials

Metal AM for 3D Compliant Mechanisms

Compliant mechanisms enable engineered motion, force transmission, and energy absorption without linkages or assemblies.  Dr. Jared Butler (PSU ME) has been developing compliant mechanisms for a wide range of applications, and with doctoral student Connor Huxman, has recently turned his attention to medical applications.  One exciting development they’re pioneering is compliant bone plates1,2, which promote healing in comminuted fractures by enabling prescribed axial strain while preventing shear.  These compliant mechanisms are typically cut from sheet, but CIMP-3D teamed up with Dr. Butler to fabricate a Ti6Al4V version of this compliant mechanism using powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (3D Systems ProX 320).  See a video of this compliant mechanism in action below.

CIMP-3D engineers and scientists believe there are innumerable untapped applications that will benefit from 3D compliant mechanisms produced by additive manufacturing, and we’re confident this application is only the tip of the iceberg.  Contact us to help bring your vision to reality.

1Huxman, C., Lewis, G., Updegrove, G., Armstrong, A., & Butler, J. (2023, April). A compliant fracture fixation plate for controlled axial motion in long bone healing. In Frontiers in Biomedical Devices (Vol. 86731, p. V001T09A010). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
2Huxman, C., & Butler, J. (2024). Modeling Stiffness and Stress in Serpentine Flexures for Use in a Compliant Bone Plate. 
Journal of Mechanical Design, 146(4).