Mechanical Design

Mechanical Design 101

Mechanical Design Educational Resource

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Kinematics and Polynomials available for pre-order

28 September, 2013 (06:01) | Lecture Notes | By: Prof. McCarthy

My iBook Kinematics and Polynomials is now available for preorder on iTunes. You can see a preview at this link. At 75MB it is considered a relatively large download.

The goal is a presentation of the analysis and synthesis of kinematic systems that relies on the theory of polynomials. I wanted to include some Mathematica code by means of video screen capture and some animations. The iBook format makes this convenient, however the size of the document increases rapidly with each video.

Currently, it can only be seen on an iPad, but this is supposed to change soon, because the OSX Mavericks operation system is to include an iBooks application.

Kinematics and Polynomials in Brief to be released soon

20 September, 2013 (19:50) | Lecture Notes | By: Prof. McCarthy

Kinematics and Polynomials

Kinematics and Polynomials

My latest attempt at ePublishing is an iBook called Kinematics and Polynomials in Brief. It will be available on October 1, 2013. It is about 50 pages and includes six short videos, which unfortunately add up to about 75MB. This is about three times the size of Introduction to Theoretical Kinematics, though  about half the number of pages. It is also about six times what is recommended for a book download.

The extra MB arise from short videos of Mathematica algorithms that perform example calculations presented in the text. Actually, most of the videos show me silently executing the Mathematica commands, but I do talk in two of them, which significantly increases their size.  If you are interested in the Mathematica files, please contact me.

Mechanical characters

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

YouTube Preview Image
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

YouTube Preview Image

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.