The problem of synthesizing a four-bar linkage is presented as a mathematical programming problem. The objective is to synthesize a four-bar linkage whose coupler point will generate, as closely as possible, a given curve, and whose crank rotations will be as close as possible to desired values. Constraints are imposed on the design variables which force the result to be a four-bar linkage, limit the forces and torques within the linkage, restrict the location of the pivot points, limit the lengths of the links, and so on. The solution is found using an iterative technique with the aid of a digital computer. Several examples are presented which demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. They include generation of a straight line, a figure eight, and a portion of a circular arc (previously investigated using a method developed by Freudenstein and Sandor). The work on this problem area is still in progress and there remain a number of open questions and unexplored alternatives.

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