This paper describes a new approach to computer-aided spatial linkage design which uses the dynamic binding feature of Java to provide a extensible software system. The spatial linkages that we focus on are constructed from one or more spatial open chains that are connected to a single workpiece. Each open chain has less than six degrees of freedom and is termed a serial chain primitive. The goal of the design system is to determine the dimensions of a set of primitives each of which has a workspace that includes the set of specified workpiece positions. These chains are then assembled together to form candidate parallel linkage designs. There are many serial chain primitives each of which has a specialized constraint solver. These primitives can be assembled into many different parallel linkages, each of which needs an analysis routine. Our approach to the challenge of generating all of these routines is to abstract the design process and structure our computer-aided linkage design system to allow integration of specialize synthesis and analysis routines developed over time by user-collaborators.

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