The Geneva gear is an arbitrary-shaped micromechanical component and is one of the most used devices for producing intermittent rotary motion. The Geneva mechanism contains two intermeshing elements. By rotating one gear through 360°, another gear is moved by fixed 90° increments. Using SLE technology, these mechanisms can be fabricated out of a single piece of glass without the need for an assembly step. Being assembly-free, the structure can be produced on a small scale (down to hundreds of µm) without extremely complex micromanipulation. Moreover, by attaching a small magnet to the mechanism and placing it over a rotating magnet, we show that smooth continuous movement of the structure can be implemented. This is made possible by the exceptionally fine gaps between the different moving parts of the structure (less than 10 µm) and particularly good surface roughness (~ 200 nm RMS), which allows for minimizing excessive friction.
Femtosecond microfabrication in micromechanics applications uses techniques like multiphoton polymerization and selective laser etching to produce flexible and high-precision 3D structures. These structures, made of materials like polymers and ceramics, can be used in various fields like micromechanics and microrobotics and are ideal for applications that require movable assembly-free components.
A feasibility study is composed of several steps, including researching methods for fabricating micro-structures, fabricating a micro-structure prototype, measuring and aligning the prototype with technical requirements, and finally preparing a study report.