Single Use Devices
Some kinds of single use devices are already common in medicine and industry where they become deformed, fixed or contaminated beyond safe reuse the first time they are employed. In the past, this was limited largely to "lumped compliance" devices, often simple clamps that you could set and forget. FlexSys has demonstrated a number of compliant mechanism designs that distribute flexural strain throughout the device in ways that enhance the performance of existing devices as well as allowing many new functions in single-use applications.
Far more than just as disposable replacements for current mechanisms, such one-use devices may present whole new ranges of application in handling, storage, preservation and transportation of finished products and components. It is now possible to create single-use devices to manipulate, isolate and immobilize fragile tissues and other delicate materials where removal of the device after use is impractical, impossible or unnecessary. Devices in such uses may even effectively become an add-on component of the target object for manufacturing and other process applications.
Compliant mechanisms can be employed to hold and isolate delicate and dangerous materials as well as organic tissues without damaging them. Such devices can even become a semi-permanent appliance for handling, transporting or containing objects.
Single-use Stops and Controllers
We are now able to create all sorts of multi-stable devices that can be actuated once and then left indefinitely without fear of them falling out of position or otherwise failing to perform.