Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Autar Kaw, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kyle Reed, Ph.D.


Ortho-Planar, Microelectromechanical System, 3D MEMS, Virtual Work, Static Jump


The bistable spherical compliant mechanism (BSCM) is a novel device capable of large, repeatable, out-of-plane motion, characteristics that are somewhat difficult to achieve with surface micromachined microelectromechanical systems. An improved pseudo-rigid-body model (PRBM) to predict the behavior of the BSCM is presented. The new model was used to analyze seven different versions of the device, each with a different compliant joint length. The new model, which adds torsion, is compared with a finite element analysis (FEA) beam model. The new model more closely approximates the results yielded by FEA than previous models used to analyze the BSCM. Future work is needed to quantify stress-stiffening interactions between bending and torsion. Both FEA and the current models show that increasing the length of the compliant segment decreases the amount of force required to actuate the device.