This paper presents an overview of a component-based approach for the dimensional synthesis of planar mechanisms. The components on which the approach is based are called triads, dyads, and free vectors, and can be synthesized for up to five precision positions. A straight-forward method for formulating dimensional synthesis procedures for arbitrarily complex planar mechanisms is developed, and demonstrated by an example using inspection. The method utilizes the concept of the directed graph, which is an enhancement of the usual graph theory representation of mechanisms. Because the method is based on graph theory, it is believed that it could be easily automated.

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