University of California Irvine: Mechanism generator
About University of California Irvine:
Robotics and Automation Lab - University of California Irvine
Lab at the University studies and analyzes robots and specializes in planar, non-planar and spherical linkages. Research includes synthesis procedures, linkage singularities, symmetry, design software and ranking criteria. Currently we are developing software that takes output data from our research and automates part and assembly documents using VB.NET and Solidworks API for planar six-bar linkages.
Currently, the main user interface works both as a stand-alone .exe or can be accessed while an instance of Solidworks is running. The current version of the software takes six-bar linkage coordinates in the first task position and 5 coordinate frames for the end effector and generates a 3-D model in Solidworks. The designer has the option to choose several link "themes" for the link cross-section that includes an "H" bar, "T" bar, rectangular, square or even create a linkage with a mirror image to help the designer create double-shear links. Options to change link size, bearing diameter and scale the linkage are also available.
Eventually, the scope of the project will include a built-in generation capability where the user just has to specify 5 coordinate frames based on the movement requirements. The program will generate a list of possible design candidates that can be selected in a browser metaphor and generated in SolidWorks. We are also working on a DirectX and OpenGL add-in for the software in which the designer can preview the linkage in the main window prior to generating in Solidworks.