This paper introduces an approach to kinematic and dynamic mechanisms analysis where one or more joints are modeled using joint component relative displacements that approximate real joint behavior. This approach allows for the simultaneous nonrecursive solution for both mechanism kinematic parameters and selected dynamic joint reaction forces. Also, for closed loop mechanisms, the approach eliminates the need for forming explicit loop closure constraint equations, so that the dynamic equations of motion, derived using either the Newtonian or Lagrangian method, have a simplified unconstrained form. The key element underlying the approach is the formation of axioms for the standard mechanism joint types that describe the form of the joint reaction force and/or moment in terms of a virtual (or real) displacement between the joint components.

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