The objective of this book is to provide the techniques necessary to study the motion of machines. A focus is placed on the application of kinematic theories to real-world machinery. It is intended to bridge the gap between a theoretical study of kinematics and the application to practical mechanisms. Students completing a course of study using this book should be able to determine the motion characteristics of a machine. The topics presented in this book are critical in machine design process as such analyses should be performed on design concepts to optimize the motion of a machine arrangement.
This fourth edition incorporates much of the feedback received from instructors and students who used the first three editions. Some enhancements include a section introducing special-purpose mechanisms; expanding the descriptions of kinematic properties to more precisely define the property; clearly identifying vector quantities through standard boldface notation; including timing charts; presenting analytical synthesis methods; clarifying the tables describing cam follower motion; and adding a standard table used for selection of chain pitch.
The end-of-chapter problems have been reviewed. In addition, many new problems have been included. It is expected that students using this book will have a good background in technical drawing, college algebra, and trigonometry. Concepts from elementary calculus are mentioned, but a background in calculus is not required. Also, knowledge of vectors, mechanics, and computer application software, such as spreadsheets, will be useful. However, these concepts are also introduced in the book.
The approach of applying theoretical developments to practical problems is consistent with the philosophy of engineering technology programs. This book is primarily oriented toward mechanical- and manufacturing-related engineering technology programs. It can be used in either associate or baccalaureate degree programs. Initially, I developed this textbook after teaching mechanisms for several semesters and noticing that students did not always see the practical applications of the material. To this end, I have grown quite fond of the case study problems and begin each class with one. The students refer to this as the “mechanism of the day.”
I find this to be an excellent opportunity to focus attention on operating machinery. Additionally, it promotes dialogue and creates a learning community in the classroom. Finally, the purpose of any textbook is to guide the students through a learning experience in an effective manner. I thank the reviewers of this text for their comments and suggestions: Dave Brock, Kalamazoo Valley Community College; Laura Calswell, University of Cincinnati; Charles Drake, Ferris State University; Lubambala Kabengela, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Sung Kim, Piedmont Technical College; Michael J. Rider, Ohio Northern University; and Gerald Weisman, University of Vermont.
Every chapter concludes with at least one case study. Each case illustrates a mechanism that is used on industrial equipment and challenges the student to discuss the rationale behind the design and suggest improvements. Numerous end-of-chapter problems are consistent with the application approach of the text. Every concept introduced in the chapter has at least one associated problem. Most of these problems include the machine that relies on the mechanism being analyzed.
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