This paper presents a computer-aided design optimization method for synthesizing planar four bar mechanisms which satisfy specified kinematic and dynamic conditions. The method can be used for path, motion, and function generation as well as for combinations of these. The kinematic conditions consist of combinations of specifications on the position, velocity, and acceleration of the coupler point and the rotations of the coupler and follower links. The dynamic conditions consist of the minimization of the average power consumed by the mechanism as well as a limit on the maximum input torque. The external loads consist of variable forces and moments at the coupler point as well as variable torques on the follower link. The Selective Precision Synthesis (SPS) method is used to express each kinematic condition in terms of a specification plus an allowable deviation or tolerance from the specification. In this manner, the synthesis problem is converted into a nonlinear optimization problem which is solved using the Generalized Reduced Gradient (GRG) method. In addition, two force balancing routines are included to help the dynamic performance of the mechanism. The mathematical formulation and derivation as well as numerical examples are presented in this paper.

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