The method of separation of kinematic structure and function has been used in the development of an optimum variable-stroke engine mechanism for automotive power plants. A systematic search procedure resulted in the structures of 39 mechanisms, one of which was judged optimal (U.S. Patent No. 4,270,495—reference [13]). The prior art, as disclosed in a number of patents and other publications, was evaluated and shown to be either included in the mechanisms created in the course of the search, or deliberately excluded by the search specification. The general nature of the approach, which combines mathematical and creative approaches, is believed to be useful in mechanical design.

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