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1. (WO2019003113) ARTICULATION SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A surgical tool assembly, comprising:

an end effector comprising an elongate channel configured to receive a fastener cartridge, wherein said elongate channel comprises a brace; and

a shaft comprising an articulation drive assembly, wherein said articulation drive assembly comprises an articulation link pivotably coupled to said elongate channel, wherein said articulation link comprises a pocket configured to receive said brace when said end effector is in a fully articulated configuration.

2. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 1 , wherein said brace comprises an outer surface comprising a plurality of first flat surfaces, wherein said pocket comprises an inner surface comprising a plurality of second flat surfaces, and wherein said second flat surfaces are complementary to said first flat surfaces.

3. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 1 , wherein said shaft extends along a longitudinal axis, wherein said articulation link is pivotably coupled to said elongate channel at a pivot axis, and wherein said pivot axis is laterally offset from said longitudinal axis.

4. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 1 , wherein said articulation drive assembly further comprises an articulation rod coupled to said articulation link, and wherein distal displacement of said articulation rod is configured to pivot said end effector toward said fully articulated configuration.

5. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 4, wherein said articulation drive assembly further comprises an articulation lock configured to selectively prevent axial displacement of said articulation rod.

6. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 1 , further comprising said fastener cartridge.

7. A surgical tool assembly, comprising:

a shaft;

an end effector comprising a proximal portion, wherein said proximal portion comprises a brace; and

an articulation assembly configured to articulate said end effector relative to said shaft between a first articulated configuration and a second articulated configuration, wherein said articulation assembly comprises an articulation driver comprising a recess, and wherein said recess is configured to receive said brace when said end effector is in said first articulated configuration.

8. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 7, wherein said end effector comprises an elongate channel configured to receive a staple cartridge, and wherein said elongate channel comprises said brace.

9. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 8, further comprising said staple cartridge.

10. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 8, wherein said brace comprises a post protruding from said elongate channel.

1 1 . The surgical tool assembly of Claim 10, wherein said post comprises an outer surface comprising a plurality of flat surfaces.

12. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 1 1 , wherein said recess comprises an inner surface comprising a plurality of second flat surfaces, and wherein said plurality of second flat surfaces are complementary to said flat surfaces of said post.

13. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 8, wherein said articulation driver comprises an articulation link comprising a proximal end and a distal end, wherein said proximal end is coupled to an articulation rod, and wherein said distal end is pivotably coupled to said elongate channel.

14. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 13, wherein said shaft extends along a longitudinal axis, and wherein said distal end of said articulation link is laterally offset from said longitudinal axis.

15. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 7, further comprising a second brace, wherein said articulation driver comprises a second recess configured to receive said second brace when said end effector is in said second articulated configuration.

16. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 7, wherein said second articulated configuration is at least 120 degrees offset from said first articulated configuration.

17. A surgical tool assembly, comprising:

a shaft;

an end effector comprising an elongate channel configured to receive a fastener cartridge;

an articulation assembly intermediate said shaft and said end effector, wherein said articulation assembly is configured to articulate said end effector relative to said shaft, and wherein said articulation assembly comprises an articulation link pivotably coupled to said elongate channel; and

means for countering buckling of said articulation link when said articulation link is compressed.

18. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 17, further comprising said fastener cartridge.

19. A surgical tool assembly, comprising:

a shaft;

an end effector comprising an elongate channel configured to receive a fastener cartridge;

an articulation assembly configured to articulate said end effector relative to said shaft, and wherein said articulation assembly comprises an articulation driver pivotably coupled to said end effector; and

means for bracing said articulation driver when said end effector is in a fully-articulated configuration.

20. The surgical tool assembly of Claim 19, further comprising said fastener cartridge.

21 . A surgical tool assembly, comprising:

a shaft;

an end effector comprising a proximal end and a distal end;

an articulation joint rotatably connecting said proximal end of said end effector to said shaft; an articulation assembly configured to articulate said end effector relative to said shaft between a first articulated configuration and a second articulated configuration, wherein said articulation assembly comprises:

a longitudinal articulation driver movable proximally and distally; a link connecting said longitudinal articulation driver to said end effector; and a feature that does not interfere with the proximal and distal movement of said articulation driver to articulate said end effector but resists the counter-rotation of said end effector to prevent the back-driving of said articulation driver.