This paper presents a novel methodology for detecting collisions of cylindrically shaped rigid bodies moving in three dimensions. This algorithm uses line geometry and dual number algebra to exploit the geometry of cylindrical objects to facilitate the detection of collisions. First, the rigid bodies are modelled with infinite cylinders and a necessary condition for collision is evaluated. If the necessary condition is not satisfied then the two bodies do not collide. If the necessary condition is satisfied then a collision between the bodies may occur and we proceed to the next stage of the algorithm. In the second stage the bodies are modelled with finite cylinders and a definitive necessary and sufficient collision detection algorithm is employed. The result is a straight-forward and efficient means of detecting collisions of cylindrically shaped bodies moving in three dimensions. This methodology has applications in spatial mechanism design, robot motion planning, and workspace analyses of parallel kinematic machines such as Stewart-Gough platforms. A case study examining a spatial 4C mechanism for self collisions is included.

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