RESEARCH PAPERS: Mechanisms Papers

Kinematic Synthesis of Adjustable Mechanisms—Part 1: Function Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
Joseph F. McGovern, George N. Sandor

Division of Machines and Structures, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N. Y.

J. Eng. Ind 95(2), 417-422 (May 01, 1973) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3438171 History: Received July 06, 1972; Online July 15, 2010


One of the major advantages of linkages over cams is the ease with which they can be adjusted to modify their output. Incorporating an adjustment into the design of a linkage makes it possible to make a selection from two, three, or more different outputs by simply making the adjustment. Adjustable mechanisms make it possible to use the same hardware for different input-output relationships. The adjustment considered in this paper is the changing of a fixed pivot location. This paper presents a method of synthesizing adjustable planar linkages for function generation with finitely separated precision points and higher order synthesis involving prescribed velocities, accelerations, and higher accelerations. The method of synthesis is analytical with closed form solutions and utilizes complex numbers. The method is programmed for automatic digital computation. The linkages considered are a four-bar, a geared five-bar, and a geared six-bar mechanism. Examples include adjustable mechanisms which have been successfully synthesized with the method developed here. Future extensions of the complex number method to include adjustment by changing the length of a link and by changing of the relative orientation of the gears in geared linkages are outlined.

Copyright © 1973 by ASME
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