Peaucellier Straight Line Linkage
by JonHollander, published
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: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaucellier%E2%80%93Lipkin_linkage
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The Peaucellier linkage can make a wheel.
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.
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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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