FlexWorks™ Software

Existing software was not up to the challenge, so FlexSys uses proprietary, in-house developed, software for identifying optimum configurations, as well as the general shape and size of structural elements while ensuring the manufacturability, reliability and energy efficiency of the target design. To verify the performance of the selected compliant system designs, FlexSys maintains a suite of computer-aided engineering software, including ANSYS, Matlab, CATIA, and Unigraphics, to simulate three- and four-dimensional non-linear elasticity, structure-to-structure contact, and structural dynamics.

MORE TOOLS IN YOUR TOOLBOX

We teamed with the National Science Foundation to bring compliant design to the mainstream and developed FlexWorks™, a demonstration level desktop distributed compliant design tool, and the new demonstration software FlexWorksOnline™. a cloud-based design tool that helps reduce motion translation to a single device.

 

FlexWorksOnline

This tool will generate conceptual single-part mechanisms and motion amplifiers. It uses a compliant design solver invented by FlexSys Founder and U of M Mechanical Engineering professor Sridhar Kota, and it’s primarily meant to help reduce parts and assembly cost. Click on the link below to try it and make something. Your feedback will be valuable to the project and this on-going software development!


Want More Power?

Download the desktop version of FlexWorks™. FlexWorksOnline has nearly all the options to defaults to make it work quickly and easily for everyone. But if you are technically minded, you can download the fully operational version of FlexWorks™. You can choose materials or input your own material properties. Select different solvers, and more. Sign up for the download link here. And see what you can create.

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FAQ #1:       What can I do with this tool?

The Flexworks software tool will help you create a 2D representation of a mechanism that "bends" for functionality. Inside the tool, the algorithms first come up with a the closest topography it can find to meet your input and output requirements. Then it applies Distributed Compliance to optimize the arms and legs of the device to avoid localized stresses that lead to permanent material deformation. The goal is to not exceed the elastic properties of the material that you have chosen and entered, whether plastic, steel or titanium. You can also adjust the depth (thickness) of the part to meet the forces you need.

Lexworks currently limited to straight beams, but with growing interest we have plans to expand its capabilities. The version available for download will automatically find a topology for you and it will allow you to move the nodes to modify the device. We have another unreleased version that allows the manual creation of a device and greater capabilities for modification. This advanced version is only available on an individual basis by contacting us.

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FAQ #2:       What can I make with this tool?

 Amplify motion 30x to 200x without joints and assembly.

Amplify motion 30x to 200x without joints and assembly.

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 Here we stacked two piezo linear actuators and amplified their motion by 65x.

Here we stacked two piezo linear actuators and amplified their motion by 65x.

 A student came up with this clever paint sprayer handle to reduce finger fatigue.

A student came up with this clever paint sprayer handle to reduce finger fatigue.

 This was a simple translation of motion needed for a power tool.

This was a simple translation of motion needed for a power tool.

 Our client need to replace an assembly of metal arms and pins that would get sticky and gum up.

Our client need to replace an assembly of metal arms and pins that would get sticky and gum up.

 Is it a gripper? Is it a brake? You decide. It was designed and 3D printed as a concept prototype.

Is it a gripper? Is it a brake? You decide. It was designed and 3D printed as a concept prototype.

 This wasn't designed using FlexWorks but we wanted to share this clever student design.

This wasn't designed using FlexWorks but we wanted to share this clever student design.


Challenging Application?

Let's talk! We may surprise you with the mechanism problems we can solve. You can send us your mechanism, or give us an outline of requirements. Then together we can apply a mechanical design methodology so advanced, we had to create our own software.