Journal or Book Title
Journal of Mechanical Design
Mechanisms are used in many devices to move a rigid body through a finite sequence of prescribed locations. The most commonly used mechanisms are four-bar planar mechanisms that move an object in one plane in space. Spatial mechanisms allow motion in three-dimensions (3D), however, to date they are rarely implemented in industry in great part due to the inherent visualization and design challenges involved. Nevertheless, they do provide promise as a practical solution to spatial motion generation and therefore remain an active area of research. Spatial 4C mechanisms are two degree-of-freedom kinematic closed-chains consisting of four rigid links simply connected in series by cylindrical (C) joints. A cylindrical joint is a two degree-of-freedom joint, which allows translation and rotation about a line in space. This paper describes a synthesis process for the design of 4C spatial mechanisms in a virtual environment. Virtual reality allows the user to view and interact with digital models in a more intuitive way than using the traditional human-computer interface (HCI). The software developed as part of this research also allows multiple users to network and share the designed mechanism. Networking tools have the potential to greatly enhance communication between members of the design team at different industrial sites and therefore reduce design costs. This software presents the first effort to provide a three-dimensional digital design environment for the design of spatial 4C mechanisms.
Kihonge, John N.; Larochelle, Pierre M.; and Vance, Judy M., "Spatial Mechanism Design in Virtual Reality With Networking" (2002). Mechanical Engineering Publications. 31.