Using CAD to Synthesize Mechanisms

When I’m designing a linkage mechanism I often have some particular motion that I need to achieve. In this article I explain the first step in this process, defining the joint positions and linkage lengths required to produce a particular motion. I have found that the constraint-based sketcher within SolidWorks provides an ideal tool for this job. This enables you to constrain the mechanism in a way that represents your design intent while leaving the unknown variables, such as the length of joints and the position and orientation of pivot axes, to be solved by the geometric constraint solver. The two examples in this article each take a step-by-step approach to synthesizing a mechanism, using SolidWorks. Read the full article published on…

1 thought on “Using CAD to Synthesize Mechanisms”

  1. I read your article in Design World. I have been doing CAD since 1978 on a mainframe and found your constraint designs a good eye opener. I never thought about it that way. I can see how there might be a large class of problems that can be worked out with constraints. This reminds me a little of using Linear Programming using the Solver in Excel. It might be interesting to marry the two techniques parametrically. I’ll look at Ambike and Schmiedeler.

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