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3. Graphical Linkage Synthesis
3.1 Types of Motion

Function Generation: correlation of output motion with input motion



Example: Scotch Yoke.
Input: Rotation
Output: Sinusoidal Function






Path Generation: control of a point on a mechanism such that it follows a prescribed path.



Example: piston engine


Control Points: TDC, BDC







Motion Generation: Control of a line on a mechanism such that in assumes a set of sequential
positions


Example: Windshield Wiper (Mercedes)


- Vertical in middle of windshield
- Angled at edges of windshield
- Does not move in a circular arc!
TDC
BDC
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3.2 Graphical Dimensional Synthesis

Given: a set of prescribed positions & link angles, find the dimensions (link lengths & pivot
positions) to produce this motion.


Example 3-1: 2 Position synthesis with rotational displacement (windshield wiper)

Find a linkage which produces 60 of rocker rotation with equal time forward and back using a
constant-speed motor. (windshield wiper mechanism)

Given: 2 desired output angles
Find: Link lengths, fixed and moving pivot locations

1. Draw link O
4
B in extreme positions B
1
, B
2
so that 60 is swept out.

Note: link 4 is already defined at this point, as is the position of one fixed pivot. Now we must find
a way to drive the rocker through 60. The simplest way is to push point B back and forth
horizontally.

2. Draw chord B
1
B
2
.
3. Draw a circle having as its center the midpoint of B
1
B
2
and radius extending out to B
2
.
4. Extend B
1
B
2
out to a convenient point.
5. Select a point O
2
on B
1
B
2
for the other fixed pivot.
6. Copy the circle drawn in Step 3 so that its center is at O
2
.
7. Label the intersections of circle and B
1
B
2
A
1
and A
2
.
8. Measure length of coupler from A
1
B
1
or A
2
B
2
.
9. Measure rocker length O
4
B
1
, crank length O
2
A
1
.
10. Find Grashof condition. If non-Grashof redo steps 3-8 with O
2
further from O
4
.

Note: Two free choices

1. length of O
4
B
2. length of O
2
B

This implies an infinite number of possible solutions.
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Example 3-1
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Example 3-2: 2 position synthesis with complex displacement (bottle capper)

For this example we wish to move a line on the rocker through two specified locations.

1. Draw link CD in its desired positions C
1
D
1
and C
2
D
2

2. Draw lines from point C
1
to C
2
and D
1
to D
2

3. Bisect lines C
1
C
2
and D
1
D
2
and extend perpendicular bisectors in convenient directions.
Their intersection is the “rotopole”

Note: it takes three points to define a circular arc. The three points may be on the arc, or two points
may be on the arc with the remaining point at the center. In this case we require two circular arcs
with a common center: the arcs swept out as C
1
moves to C
2
and D
1
to D
2
. The two perpendicular
bisectors we just drew are possible center locations for arcs which pass through C
1
C
2
and D
1
D
2
,
respectively. Their intersection is thus a common center.

4. Select a convenient radius and draw an arc about O
4
to intersect O
4
C
1
and O
4
C
2

5. Label the intersection points B
1
and B
2
.
6. Do steps 2 through 8 of Example 3-1

Note: Free choices

1. position of joint B
2. length of O
2
B

this problem reduced to Example 3-1 once the correct rocker link geometry was found.

What happens if C
1
D
1
and C
2
D
2
are parallel to each other?
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Example 3-2
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Example 3-3: 2 positions with complex coupler output

Here we wish to move a line on the coupler through two positions. This is useful in situations where
rocker output is not up to the job (e.g. parallel movement.)

1. Draw link CD in two desired positions (coupler link)
2. Bisect lines C
1
D
1
and C
2
D
2
and draw perpendicular bisectors.
3. Select convenient points on bisectors for O
2
, O
4
.
4. Connect O
2
with C
1
: link 2
5. Connect O
4
with D
1
: link 4

Note: this time our arc centerpoints are separated since we are defining two links instead of just one.
Since this fourbar has two rocker links, we must construct a driver dyad to drive it.

6. Select a point on link 2, call it B
1
.
7. Draw arc around O
2
to intersect B
1
and O
2
C
2
. Call the intersection B
2
.
8. Rest is same as example 3-1.

Free choices:

1. length of link 2
2. length of link 4
3. position of joint B
4. length of O
6
B

Note: there is a problem with this linkage, in that it probably cannot move smoothly between
positions 1 and 2. Linkage design is an iterative process!
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Example 3-3

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Example 3-4: 3 positions with complex coupler output

Here we wish to synthesize a linkage which will move the coupler through 3 positions.

1. Draw link CD in its three desired positions.
2. Draw construction lines between C
1
C
2
, C
2
C
3
, etc.
3. Bisect lines C
1
C
2
and C
2
C
3
and extend perpendicular bisectors until they intersect. Label the
intersection O
2
.

Note that in this case we have three points which define an arc about O
2
. The intersections of the
bisectors is the center of the arc.

4. Bisect lines D
1
D
2
and D
2
D
3
and extend perpendicular bisectors until they intersect. Label the
intersection O
4
.
5. Connect O
2
with C
1
and call it link 2. Connect O
4
with D
1
and call it link 4.
6. Construct a driver dyad to drive the linkage between its two extreme positions.

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Example 3-5: 3 positions with alternate moving pivots

In some cases we wish a line on the coupler which is distinct from the line between the two pivots
to move through a specified path. This might happen in the case of a windshield wiper mechanism,
where we do not want to locate pivot points in the middle of the windshield.

1. Draw line CD in the three desired positions.
2. Define new attachment points E and F on coupler link. These points have a fixed
relationship with CD. Draw E
1
F
1
on link 1. Draw a cirele of radius E
1
C
1
about C
2
. Draw a
circle of radius E
1
D
1
about C
2
. The intersection of these circles is point E
2
. Use the same
procedure to find F
2
, E
3
and F
3
.

Explanation: Essentially we are using similar triangles to transfer the relationship between C
1
D
1
and
E
1
to C
2
D
2
and E
2
. The first circle we drew makes the distance E
2
C
2
the same as the distance E
1
C
1
.
The second circle makes the distance E
2
D
2
the same as E
1
D
1
. Since the distance E
1
C
1
=E
2
C
2
, the
three sides of the triangles E
1
C
1
D
1
and E
2
C
2
D
2
are the same, thus, similar triangles.

3. Draw construction lines E
1
E
2
and E
2
E
3
. Repeat for F.
4. Draw perpendicular bisectors of E
1
E
2
, E
2
E
3
, F
1
F
2
and F
2
F
3
.
5. Label intersections O
2
and O
4
.
6. Connect E with O
2
and F with O
4
to make links 2 and 4, respectively.
7. Construct a driver dyad to drive the linkage.

Note: free choices

1. Locations of E and F on coupler link

There is a problem with this construction! The pin at O
4
appears to interfere with link 2. It would
be nice if there were a procedure to specify the locations of the fixed pins and find the locations of
the moving pins on the coupler (points E and F.)
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Example 3-5



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Example 3-6: 3 position synthesis with specified fixed pivots

This problem is called an “inversion” problem, that is, we will pretend a moving link is fixed, and
perform the analysis from there.

1. Draw line CD in its three desired positions. Draw ground link O
2
O
4
in its position. For the
remainder of the analysis we will rename O
2
O
4
G
1
H
1
.
2. Take the relationship between line C
2
D
2
and O
2
O
4
and transfer it to C
1
D
1
. Call the new line
G
2
H
2
.
3. Take the relationship between line C
3
D
3
and O
2
O
4
and transfer it to C
1
D
1
. Call the new line
G
3
H
3
.

Note: what we are doing here is pretending that C
1
D
1
is a fixed link and that the ground link moves
around it. This is the so-called “inversion” part of the analysis. The three positions that the
“moving” ground link takes bear the same relationship with “fixed” C
1
D
1
as those between the
“fixed” ground link and moving CD.

4. Draw construction lines G
1
G
2
and G
2
G
3
. Repeat for H.
5. Draw perpendicular bisectors of G
1
G
2
, G
2
G
3
, H
1
H
2
and H
2
H
3
.
6. Label intersections E
1
and F
1
. E
1
F
1
is the coupler link in position 1.
7. Connect E with O
2
and F with O
4
to make links 2 and 4, respectively.
8. Construct a driver dyad to drive the linkage.

To find the layout of the rockers and coupler in positions 2 and 3, we must repeat steps 2 and 3,
transferring the relationships to lines C
2
D
2
and C
3
D
3
, respectively.

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Example 3-6

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Quick-Return Mechanisms
In the preceding examples, we didn’t worry about how long it took for the linkage to travel its path.
In the case of the windshield wiper mechanism, for example, it is probably best for the linkage to
spend an equal time pushing the wipers to the left as to the right. But for some mechanisms, timing
is critical. Consider the “egg lifter” mechanism shown above. The purpose of this mechanism is to
lift an egg (or other delicate object) from one conveyor belt to another. We wish to lift the egg
slowly and gently, so as not to damage it, but the return stroke (when the egg is not on the platform)
should be quick, so as not to waste time.



To see how we might accomplish this, consider the “cartoon” above. As you can see, the rocker
spends and equal time moving forwards as backwards, because the crank sweeps out 180° for each
motion. To change the timing, we need to tailor the angle of sweep to our needs.

Egg
180
o
forward
180
o
back
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By simply lowering the fixed crank pivot, we change the parts of the crank’s rotation that are spent
moving forward or backward. In the figure above, the crank spends 200° of rotation moving the
rocker “forward” and 160° of rotation moving the rocker “backward”. Let us call the forward angle
β and the return angle α. Now define the time ratio as

In most cases, the time ratio will be specified, and we must construct the linkage to accomplish this
motion. Finally, we’ll use the construction angle δ to help design our linkage.








200
o
forward
160
o
back
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Example 3-7

2-position quick-return mechanism

Problem Statement: design a driver dyad which sweeps out 40 of rocker rotation and has a time
ratio of 1.25:1

| |

1. Draw output link O
4
B in desired position
2. Draw a construction line through B
1
at a convenient angle
3. Draw a line through B
2
at an angle  with the first line
4. Label the intersection O
2

5. Measure lengths O
2
B
1
and O
2
B
2


Note:

Solve for L
2
and L
3
:

(

)

(

)

6. Measure angle 

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Example 3-7