Linkage-type mechanisms have certain advantages over cams for dwell applications. The design of a typical six-link dwell mechanism involves adding an output dyad to the basic four-bar mechanism that generates either a circular arc or a straight line portion of the coupler curve. The entire motion characteristics of these four-bar mechanisms should be considered in order to design a suitable dwell linkage. Part 1 of this paper is devoted to the study of four-bar linkages which generate straight line, circular arc and symmetrical curves. Part 2 discusses how the design experience gained in this study can be applied to develop an expert system for designing linkage-type dwell mechanisms. Using path curvature theory and design charts developed by Tesar, et al., hundreds of four-bar straight-line mechanisms are systematically investigated. Based on the typical shapes of coupler curves these mechanisms are then classified. A synthesis technique has been developed to design four-bar mechanisms for circular arc generation. Symmetrical coupler curves with straight-line or circular-arc segments, which are required for designing double-dwell mechanisms, are studied. This paper is part of the research that is underway to develop an “expert system” for designing mechanisms to generate straight lines, circular arcs, symmetrical curves, parallel motion and dwell.

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