Creativity in the Classroom-A Collection of Case Studies in Linkage Synthesis


Presented herein are a few case studies in linkage design that have resulted from a mechanism synthesis course offered at Penn State. This graduate = level course, attended by seniors as well as graduate students, is the first and only discourse in the area offered at the present timw. This poses a certain challenge in presenting the course; to generate an enthusiasm for the art, and appreciation for the modern design techniques, a broad historical perspective of synthesis must be offered. This is followed by the introduction of some relatively modern techniques in linkage synthesis, e.g. the complex number method[1], the algebraic methods[2], and the current numerical methods[3], all with a predominantly computer-oriented character. No details on these methods are offered here, and the reader is urged to consult the above references for them. It should be pointed out that when these materials were introduced, students were found to effectively manipulate, and often combine, methods to seek creative solutions to their projects. All of the above is accomplished within one term. The projects are handled in groups of two or three students, ensuring that at least one possesses a significant FORTRAn coding prowess. This alleviates any undue frustrations and generally augments the efficiency of the group. An analysis method presented in [4], and supported by a computer program, is also available to students as an aid in performing a dynamic force analysis of planar mechanisms. The problem solutions presented here center around one dwell mechanism or another; the purpose, however, is to emphasize the curious means for arriving at the solutions. It should be remembered that available time does not permit students the luxury of comprehensive design as well as analysis, nor the fine-tuning to optimality.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 1984 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1984