Mechanical Design

Mechanical Design 101

Mechanical Design Educational Resource

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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.

2013 Solar Decathlon

9 August, 2013 (10:43) | Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

Inside Irvine Fall 2013

Inside Irvine Fall 2013

Inside Irvine has an article about the 2013 Solar Decathlon and XPO at the Orange County Great Park. Select this link to access the on-line magazine. See page 5 for descriptions of each of the 20 Universities competing in this event.

Introduction to Racecar Engineering

4 August, 2013 (14:20) | Automotive Information, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

The UCI summer program Introduction to Racecar Engineering concluded with a track day on Saturday, August 3. Select this link to see slideshows of the activities.

The California Challenge at the Solar Decathlon

2 August, 2013 (21:10) | Automotive Information, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

California Challenge Header

California Challenge Header


The California Challenge joins three energy efficient racing events

The format of the California Challenge provides a same track same day comparison of the energy performance of a different types of energy efficient racers.

The California Challenge is an energy efficiency time trial. The goal is to achieve the maximum average speed using $1 of energy. The course includes a high speed section, an auto-cross section, and a staged idle section. Maximum distance in one-hour wins using $1 of any combination of energy sources wins. This event is presented as part of the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in association with the Energy Expo.

Select this link for more information about the California Challenge.

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.

2013 Energy Invitational: Video

2 July, 2013 (06:26) | Automotive Information, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy


Race teams from 20 high schools and colleges competed in energy time trials at Adams Motorsports Park on May 11, 2013 at the fourth UCI Energy Invitational. This video captures the spirit of the event.

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.

Photo gallery from 2013 Energy Invitational

1 June, 2013 (23:06) | Automotive Information, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

This gallery includes over 100 photos from the 2013 Energy Invitational held at Adams Motorsports Park on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

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.

Energy Invitational 2013 Photographs

14 May, 2013 (15:54) | Automotive Information, Student Projects | By: Prof. McCarthy

Foothill HS at EI4

Foothill HS at EI4

Photographs from the Energy Invitational 2013 can be seen at the Professor’s facebook page.