Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Craig Lusk, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kyle Reed, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Hess, Ph.D.


hysteresis, creep, large deflection, oscillation, variable stiffness


This thesis presents a novel compliant mechanism with adjustable force output. The force comes from the bending of a rectangular cross section beam within the mechanism. By rotating this beam with a stepper motor, the force output of the mechanism changes. A model was made to simulate this mechanism, and a prototype was made based off of this data. A test apparatus was constructed around this mechanism, and a series of tests were performed. These tests adjusted parameters such as beam rotation speed and weight in order to characterize the system. Adjustments were made based on this information and the mechanism was refined. The results suggest the following. The speed has a negligible effect on the behavior of the system, while the weight, length of top link r3, and position of bottom stop have a significant effect. Also, there is a large, consistent amount of hysteresis in the system. This is likely caused by the beam storing torsion or friction from the slider.