One of the first tasks in solving any machine design problem is to determine the kinematic configuration(s) needed to provide the desired motions. Force and stress analyses typically cannot be done until the kinematic issues have been resolved.

This text addresses the design of kinematic devices such as linkages, cams, and gears. Each of these terms will be fully defined in succeeding chapters, but it may be useful to show some examples of kinematic applications.

You probably have used many of these systems without giving any thought to their kinematics.

Virtually any machine or device that moves contains one or more kinematic elements such as linkages, cams, gears, belts, chains. Your bicycle is a simple example of a kinematic system that contains a chain drive to  provide torque multiplication and simple cable-operated linkages for braking.

An automobile contains many more examples of kinematic devices. Its steering system, wheel suspensions, and piston-engine all contain linkages; the engine's valves are opened by cams; and the transmission is full of gears.

Even the windshield wipers are linkage-driven. Figure l-la shows a spatial linkage used to control the rear wheel movement of a modem automobile over bumps. Construction equipment such as tractors, cranes, and backhoes all use linkages extensively in their design.

Figure 1-1b shows a small backhoe that is a linkage driven by hydraulic cylinders. Another application using linkages is thatof exercise equipment as shown in Figure I-Ie.

The examples in Figure 1-1 are all of consumer goods which you may encounter in your daily travels. Many other kinematic examples occur in the realm of producer goods-machines used to make the many consumer products that we use.

You are less likely to encounter these outside of a factory environment. Once you become familiar with the terms and principles of kinematics, you will no longer be able to look at any machine or product without seeing its kinematic aspects.

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