The graphical construction of a four-bar function generator that coordinates three input and three output angles is presented in the video below. It is possible to coordinate as many as five input-output angles, but this requires numerical calculations using software like our MechGen FG iOS application.
Animations of linkage movement.
Our MechGen FG iOS application provides five position synthesis for four-bar linkages. A Demo of the iPad version is provided below. It is also available on the iPhone.
The graphical construction of a four-bar linkage that coordinates two positions of an input crank with two positions of an output crank is presented in this video using Geogebra.
A linkage that coordinates the values of input and output angles is called a function generator. It is possible to design a four-bar linkage to coordinate as many as five input and output angles. However, this requires numerical calculations using software such as our MechGen FG iOS application.
Our Sphinx software was the first computer-aided design system for spherical linkages. It used IRIS system by Silicon Graphics. Collaboration with Judy Vance lead to a Virtual Reality version of this design system.
This video shows the operation of these two design systems;
The linkage design software developed by Art Erdman and his students at the University of Minnesota, called LINCAGES: Linkage INteractive Computer Analysis and Graphically Enhanced Synthesis Package, was developed in 1977 through 2000. This is a link to his information site. His guide map that evaluates all of the linkages formed from points on the circle-point and counter-point curves was a nice innovation.
This link connects to a YouTube video shows the linkage design process using LINCAGES:
My first experience with computer based kinematic synthesis was a 1982 presentation by Roger Kaufman of his KinSyn linkage design software on an Apple II microcomputer. This is a link to his description of his experience in those early days of computer-aided design of linkages.
His paper that describes this software can be found here. The photos are a terrific look into the computer technology in the 1970’s.
Here is a video that describes the operation of KinSyn, which I find to be an impressive integration of kinematics calculations in the background with a useful graphical presentation of information to the designer. I have to say that the graphical display was impressive in its day.
This is a Geogebra animation of the leg mechanism for the Strider walker. It is a symmetrical design that allows the formation of a second foot assembly by simply adding two more bars.
This is an animation of the leg mechanism in the TrotBot walker.
The animated four-bar linkage FHJD is constructed using dimensions as the quadrilateral ABCD. The dynamic geometry software Geogebra maintains the dimensions of FHJD as the points of ABCD are moved. The result is that the animated linkage changes to match the new dimensions. This can be seen in following Movie. For more information see Kinematic Synthesis of Mechanisms.
Here are the eight Movies in Chapter 6 of Kinematic Synthesis of Mechanisms.
Here are the four Movies in Chapter 5 of Kinematic Synthesis of Mechanisms.