Machine Design

Oberlin Sphere

Instruments for Natural Philosophy

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This site has photographs of a large number of devices used to…
Smitty Training

Smitty's Engineering Training Videos

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The training videos that Smitty developed for our design classes…
Four-bar Synthesis

Linkage Synthesis Demonstration

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This shows the operation of our Mathematica notebook for five-position…
Stock Drive Products Logo

Technical information for mechanical components

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Stock Drive Products has an array of downloadable catalogs…
Automotive information

Automotive components

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Chris Longhurst has assembled a number of descriptive articles…
Parallel Mechanisms information center

Parallel Mechanisms information center

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Ilian Bonev maintains bibliography and patent databases on parallel…
MatWeb:  Material Property Data

Mechanical Properties of Steel

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The MatWeb site provides detailed information about materials…
Total Materia

Unified Numbering System for Materials

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There are a variety of numbering systems for materials such as…
Elastic Modulus v. Density

Material Properties Charts

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Cambridge University provides a useful overview of materials…
Periodic Table

NIST Periodic Table

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides…

Lecture Notes

Delft Models

Linkage models at TU-Delft

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Prof. A. J. Klein Breteler maintains an array of mechanism models…
Elementary Robotics

Elementary Robotics

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The basic properties of robots can developed by studying planar…
Intro to Mechanisms

CMU's Introduction to Mechanisms

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Yi Zhang, Susan Finger and Stephannie Behrens have prepared an…
Slider-crank analysis

Four-bar linkage analysis: Slider-crank

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The slider-crank is an important mechanism with a wide range…
Four-bar linkage analysis

Four-bar linkage analysis: 4R quadrilateral

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The four-bar linkage is a basic machine component. It comes in…
Motor Torque and Power

DC motor torque and power

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A copy of my notes on DC motor torque and power can be downloaded…
Phyclips from UNSW

DC motor basics

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The basic principles of DC motors are presented by Joe Wolfe…
Prof. Britton's Notes on GD&T

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

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This is a link to notes on Geometric Design and Tolerancing by…
Chris Sangwin

C. J. Sangwin's linkage movies

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Chris Sangwin has a nice collection of linkage movies at How…
Brock Institute Logo

Brock Engineering's mechanism home page

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Fred Klingener has generated a number of interesting mechanism…
KMODDL Tour

Kinematic models for design

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The KMODDL team at Cornell University maintains an excellent…

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MechGen 3 Contact us on this feedback form. We look forward to providing our MechGen synthesis software to simplify your linkage design process in SolidWorks.

Linkage Synthesis Theory


The mathematical synthesis of linkage movement provides a powerful tool for invention. However, the specified task may not have useful solutions, and the search for successful tasks can be discouraging.

To address this, we automate the search and evaluation process within tolerance zones specified by the designer.  These Mathematica notebooks implement our approach to finding defect-free four-bar linkage designs.


RR Constraint Synthesis for Function Generation

Synthesis of an RR Constraint

Synthesis of an RR Constraint

An important technique in kinematic synthesis is the design of an RR constraint that controls the movement of two joints of an existing serial chain. For a given RR serial chain, like OA shown above, we can specify its movement through five required task positions. This provides the information needed to design an RR constraint, GW above, that ensures the system moves through the required task positions.

This technique is called function generation in the kinematics synthesis literature, because the synthesized RR constraint maintains a specified relationship between the joint angles alpha and beta at joints O and A.

RR-Constraint-Synthesis

Select this link to download our Mathematica notebook: RR-Constraint Synthesis. It uses a given RR chain and the associated task to determine tolerance zones, where it searches for defect-free designs.  As above, this file may download as text file so remove the .txt extension, then it should be readable by Mathematica. If you have any questions, please contact me.


Five-Position Synthesis of a Four-bar Linkage

Here we show a four-bar linkage designed to guide the coupler through five required task positions.

Please download and try our updated Mathematica notebook: Five-Position Synthesis. It searches in the vicinity of the required task for sets of positions that yield defect-free four-bar linkages.  It may download as textfile so remove the .txt extension, then it should be readable by Mathematica.

The video below shows the operation of this notebook.

If you have any problems or advice, please contact me.