Peaucellier Straight Line Linkage

by JonHollander, published

Peaucellier Straight Line Linkage by JonHollander Jan 1, 2013

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The Peaucellier linkage transforms a rotary input motion into an exact straight line output motion.

During the Industrial Revolution, mechanisms for transforming rotary motion into linear motion were an area of intense research. Applications for these mechanisms included guiding pistons of the early steam engines and manufacturing precision parts.

The first attempts to solve this problem included Watt's linkage, which only approximates a straight line, and the Sarrus linkage, which does not operate in a single plane.

The Peaucellier linkage generates a perfect straight line by geometrically inverting a circular curve.

Upon seeing a model of this mechanism, Lord Kelvin is reported to have claimed that "it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life."

A detailed history and explanation of this linkage can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaucellier%E2%80%93Lipkin_linkage


Print the following set of parts:

1 x Base Platform
1 x Base Upright
5 x Medium Arms
2 x Long Arms
4 x Long Pins
3 x Short Pins

Assemble as shown in the images using the pins.

If you wish to change the dimensions of the links, the distance between the centers of the uprights must be equal to the distance between the hole centers of the input rotary arm for the linkage to work correctly.

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Sep 8, 2015 - Modified Sep 8, 2015

The instructions should say 4 short pins and 4 long pins. What is this used for? After printing it.... I'm asking myself, why did I print this. It doesn't appear to have any motion like I thought it would

It's cool, but I don't understand how it would be connected to a spinning wheel/gear to drive it. It seems to be operated as a pendulum.

You can use a motor and a pear-shaped cam to move the center arm in a rocking motion. The output will oscillate along a straight line.

The nifty thing about the design is that the action needed to drive it is so simple (pushing the pendulum) you can do it lots of different ways. For instance, a way to attach a motor might be with a wheel and rod setup like you use to drive a piston (thing:10494). Or you could do something extremely simple like attach a little sail to it and let the wind blow it back and forth. There are millions of possibilities.

single cylinder engine