Mechanical Design

Mechanical Design 101

Mechanical Design Educational Resource

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Category: Linkage Animations

Animations of linkage movement.

Rectilinear eight-bar suspension

17 April, 2014 (03:17) | Linkage Animations | By: Prof. McCarthy

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This is a design concept for a rectilinear eight-bar suspension. It does not manage body roll but it does provide compact large travel.

Rectilinear eight-bar linkage

9 April, 2014 (19:57) | Linkage Animations | By: Prof. McCarthy

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This animation was prepared by Yang Liu for a linkage designed by Kaustubh Sonawale. The eight-bar linkage guides the platform in the approximation to rectilinear motion.

Six-bar linkage with rectilinear moving link

20 January, 2014 (23:15) | Linkage Animations | By: Prof. McCarthy



This is an animation of a Watt I six-bar linkage with a translating link that does not rotate (select the video to begin the animation). This is obtained using GeoGebra to execute a construction described by E. A. Dijksman in his book Motion Geometry of Mechanisms.

Mechanical characters

10 August, 2013 (15:21) | Linkage Animations, Robotics Information | By: Prof. McCarthy

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Disney Research guides two degree-of-freedom open chains using the coupler curve of a geared five-bar linkage to obtain geared seven-bar and nine-bar linkages, which they use to move the front and rear legs of their Cyber Tiger. By connecting the driving gears of the four legs, they obtain a one degree-of-freedom system that animates the Cyber Tiger.

The computational design system uses an optimization routine to adjust the coupler curve of the five-bar linkage to approximate a given curve in order to guide the system in a desired movement. The results are terrific, and look a lot like the mechanical toys of the past. Select this link for more information.

Six-bar Linkage Design for Mechanical Computation

1 August, 2013 (03:33) | Lecture Notes, Linkage Animations, Robotics Information | By: Prof. McCarthy

Six-bar linkages

Six-bar linkages


Our paper Numerical Synthesis of Six-bar Linkages for Mechanical Computation provides the mathematical theory that underlies the synthesis of a six-bar linkage with an input-output relationship that approximates a specified function. This describes how the Stephenson III six-bar linkage that sets the elevation for a ballistic trajectory was designed.

Mechanization of the ballistic function

11 June, 2013 (06:23) | Linkage Animations, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

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This Stephenson III six-bar linkage sets the elevation of a ballistic trajectory to reach a specified distance downrange given an initial velocity of 500 m/s. This function is described in Computing Linkages by A. Svoboda (pg 285). Mark Plecnik obtained this linkage after evaluating almost 100,000 different designs.

Waldron Fest: May 16-17, 2013

18 May, 2013 (22:24) | Engineering Data, Linkage Animations, Robotics Information | By: Prof. McCarthy

Waldron Inspires

Waldron Inspires


This poster was prepared as a gift to Ken Waldron on his 70th birthday and given to him at a conference organized in his honor. Anuj Taneja generated the SolidWorks model in 2006 from the original drawings of the Adaptive Suspension Vehicle. I recently found the electronic files and Kaustubh Sonawale generated the four-view drawing. The ASV is an important feat of engineering and the stories shared by those who worked on it were wonderful.

Mechanical Advantage

14 May, 2013 (15:02) | Lecture Notes, Linkage Animations | By: Prof. McCarthy

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This video from the University of Dayton narrated by Prof. Andrew Murray provides an excellent illustration of the important concept of mechanical advantage.

Retractable handle

7 May, 2013 (03:10) | Linkage Animations, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

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This six-bar linkage was developed at the request of a designer who wanted the handle to move in and out along a circle, while the linkage and attachments were located in the rectangle. This linkage designed by Kaustubh Sonawale seems to meet his needs.

Tensegrity Linkage

3 May, 2013 (15:10) | Linkage Animations, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

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This is a design concept that uses tensegrity beam elements as the bars of a large-scale linkage system for use in deployable structures for disaster relief. This animation is by Mark Plecnik.