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This research is part of a larger project on designing extrusion dies that create parts with complex variation in cross section. The research presented is on segmentation theory, the realization of a set of rigid bodies and joints that best approximate a set of curves that define a shape change. These curves differ from each other by a combination of planar displacement, shape variation, and notable differences in arc length. Among various shape-changing technologies, rigid-body mechanisms composed of traditional machine elements offer many advantages including carrying large loads while achieving large displacements. Although some of the theory for synthesizing rigid-body shape-changing mechanisms is well established, segmentation that utilizes a significant number of prismatic joints remains to be addressed and is the contribution of this work. Additional examples of applications of the developed theory include airfoils, car seats, and light reflectors that can alter their shapes during use.

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Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

David Myszka and Andrew Murray

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


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