In some applications, nonconstant energy storage in the flexible segments of compliant mechanisms is undesired, particularly when high efficiency or high-fidelity force feedback is required. In these cases, the principle of static balancing can be applied, where a balancing segment with a negative stiffness is added to cancel the positive stiffness of the compliant mechanism. This paper presents a strategy for the design of statically balanced compliant mechanisms and validates it through the fabrication and testing of proof-of-concept prototypes. Three compliant mechanisms are statically balanced by the use of compressed plate springs. All three balanced mechanisms have approximately zero stiffness but suffer from a noticeable hysteresis loop and finite offset from zero force. Design considerations are given for the design and fabrication of statically balanced compliant mechanisms.
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