Parallel Assembly and Testing of Microparts (1997)
Karl F. Böhringer, Ken Goldberg, Kris Pister, Isam Tahhan, Yan Zhuang
Fixtures are used to locate and hold parts during automated inspection,
machining, or assembly. Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are tiny
devices built in batch processes derived from integrated circuit fabrication.
We describe a design for an array of MEMS microfixtures for parallel inspection,
transport, and assembly of microfabricated parts. In a microfixture array,
parts are brought near the fixture by random motion provided e.g. by vibratory
agitation. The fixture clamps actively close when the parts enter the fixture.
In large future fixture arrays, electrostatic or optical sensors integrated
into the fixture cell can trigger this clamping function. Each cell operates
autonomously and no global control is necessary. We fabricated a prototype
cell consisting of two upfoldable fixture walls and a bimorph thermal actuator
using a standard CMOS process. This approach allows batch fabrication of
large numbers of cells on a single silicon wafer, as well as easy integration
of sensors and actuators that autonomously close each cell when filled.
|Figure 1: 3D schematic view of micro
fixture cell with fixture walls, chamfers, and actuators
|Figure 2: Top view of microfixture
cell before folding.
||Figure 3: SEM micrograph of completed
- Isam. Tahhan, Y. Zhuang, Karl F. Böhringer, Ken Goldberg, Kris
S. J. Pister, "MEMS Fixtures." SPIE Symposium on Micromachining and
Microfabrication, Conference on Micromachined Devices and Components
V, pp. 129-139, Santa Clara, CA, September 20-22, 1999. Paper.
A complete list of our publications
(many of them available online) can be found here.
- NSF CDA-9726389, IRI-9553197
- NSF CISE Postdoctoral Associateship in Experimental Computer Science
to Karl F. Böhringer (CDA-9705022)
© Karl F. Böhringer, Department of Electrical Engineering, Box
352500, Seattle, WA 98195-2500, USA