The kinematic synthesis of planar linkage mechanisms has traditionally been broken into the categories of motion, path and function generation. Each of these categories of problems has been solved separately. Many problems in engineering practice require some combination of these problem types. For example, a problem requiring coupler points and/or poses in addition to specific input and/or output link angles that correspond to those positions. A limited amount of published work has addressed some specific underconstrained combinations of these problems. This paper presents a general graphical method for the synthesis of a four bar linkage to satisfy any combination of these exact synthesis problems that is not over constrained. The approach is to consider the constraints imposed by the target positions on the linkage through the poles and rotation angles. These pole and rotation angle constraints are necessary and sufficient conditions to meet the target positions. After the constraints are made, free choices which may remain can be explored by simply dragging a fixed pivot, a moving pivot or a pole in the plane. The designer can thus investigate the family of available solutions before making the selection of free choices to satisfy other criteria. The fully constrained combinations for a four bar linkage are given and sample problems are solved for several of them.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.