The conceptual design of compliant mechanisms is generally performed using one of two methods: topology optimization or the Pseudo-Rigid-Body Model. In this paper, we present a conceptual design methodology which utilizes a building block approach. The concept of the instant center is developed for compliant mechanisms and is used to characterize the building blocks. The building block characterization is used in guiding the problem decomposition. The compliant four-bar building block is presented as a base mechanism for the conceptual design. The geometric advantage is used as a quantitative measure to guide the designer in determining the shape of the building block. An example problem demonstrates the methodology’s capacity to obtain viable conceptual designs in a straightforward manner. Resulting mechanisms satisfy initial kinematic requirements and are ready for further refinement using size and geometry optimization.

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