Flexure joints are rapidly gaining ground in precision engineering because of their predictable behavior. However the range of motion of flexure joints is limited due to loss of support stiffness in deformed configurations. Most of the common flexure joints consist of prismatic leaf springs. This paper presents a simple non-prismatic beam formulation that can be used for the efficient modelling of non-prismatic leaf springs. The resulting stiffness and stress computed by the non-prismatic beam element are compared to the results of a finite element analysis. The paper shows that the support stiffness of two typical flexure joints can be increased up to a factor of 1.9 by using non-prismatic instead of prismatic leaf springs.

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