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The Application of Geometric Constraint Programming to the Design of Motion Generating Six-Bar Linkages

[+] Author Affiliations
John A. Mirth

University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, WI

Paper No. DETC2012-70176, pp. 1503-1511; 9 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 36th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4503-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper looks at the application of Geometric Constraint Programming (GCP) to the synthesis of six-bar planar linkages. GCP is a synthesis method that relies on the built-in geometric capabilities of commercial solid-modeling programs to produce linkage designs while operating in the “sketch” mode for these programs. GCP provides the user with the opportunity to create mechanisms in their entirety at multiple design positions.

The complexity of analyzing potential defects (such as circuit or branch defects) within a six-bar mechanism poses significant challenges to the user who might try to design such a mechanism in a single step. The methods presented in this paper apply GCP in a stepwise manner to create six-bar linkages that are less likely to suffer from defects than if they were created in a single step. Stepwise approaches are presented for six-bar mechanisms designed to solve a problem involving rigid-body guidance (motion generation). The linkages considered include the Stephenson I, II, and III chains, as well as the Watt I six-bar. The Watt II six-bar is not included since this mechanism’s application to rigid-body guidance can be handled by GCP methods previously developed for four-bar linkages.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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