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Mechanism Branches, Turning Curves, and Critical Points

[+] Author Affiliations
David H. Myszka, Andrew P. Murray

University of Dayton, Dayton, OH

Charles W. Wampler

General Motors R&D Center, Warren, MI

Paper No. DETC2012-70277, pp. 1513-1525; 13 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 and General Motors


This paper considers single-degree-of-freedom, closed-loop linkages with a designated input angle and one design parameter. For a fixed value of the design parameter, a linkage has turning points (dead-input singularities), which break the motion curve into branches such that the motion along each branch can be driven monotonically from the input. As the design parameter changes, the number of branches and their connections, in short the topology of the motion curve, may change at certain critical points. As the design parameter changes, the turning points sweep out a curve we call the “turning curve,” and the critical points are the singularities in this curve with respect to the design parameter. The critical points have succinct geometric interpretations as transition linkages. We present a general method to compute the turning curve and its critical points. As an example, the method is used on a Stephenson II linkage. Additionally, the Stephenson III linkage is revisited where the input angle is able to rotate more than one revolution between singularities. This characteristic is associated with cusps on the turning point curve.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME and General Motors



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