Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Research article
15 Jun 2011
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2011

Fabrication of compliant mechanisms on the mesoscale

G. R. Hayes, M. I. Frecker, and J. H. Adair

Abstract. The fabrication of compliant mechanisms on the mesoscale requires collaboration of mechanical engineering design, with materials science and engineering fabrication approaches. In this paper, a review of current fabrication approaches to produce mesoscale devices is given, highlighting the benefits and limitations of each technique. Additionally, a hierarchy is provided, eliminating fabrication techniques that do not completely satisfy the mechanical design requirements of the compliant mechanisms. Furthermore, the lost mold-rapid infiltration forming process (LM-RIF) is described, and compared to existing fabrication approaches. Finally, prototype mesoscale compliant mechanisms are fabricated, demonstrating the versatility of the LM-RIF process to produce both metal and ceramic devices, as well as ability of a fabrication process to work in collaboration with mechanical design.