Linkage mechanism simulator



Japanese Page


The screen of a "Linkage mechanism simulator".


This "Linkage mechanism simulator" simulates the motion of parts, such as the motion between a powered part and a rod connected to it. Various kinds of parts can be freely arranged on the screen by operating the mouse. Moreover, the linkage mechanism you make can be saved or printed out as a still picture or a series of still pictures, and can also be output as a movie or animation.

This "Linkage mechanism simulator" is developed only for school educational purposes, so it does not simulate all mechanisms accurately. You should not use it for situations in which accuracy is required.

Keep in mind that in the present version of this "Linkage mechanism simulator", there are some kinds of structures which cannot be simulated.


This software is Copyright 2005 Kanagawa Prefecture (Kanagawa Prefectural Education Center). Duplicating it without permission, re-distributing it and so on is not permitted.
 


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This "Linkage mechanism simulator" can be downloaded from this site and can be used for educational purposes and nonprofit use only.


Download (Version 1.0 Build 205)


Date Version Update status

20/12/2006

Version 1.0  Build 205

Addition of numeric data display function and graph making function.
(Additional function of "Menu : processing display")
Addition of piston with short rod.

7/12/2005

Version 1.0  Build 204

Add one more part, a sliding rod.

17/10/2005

Version 1.0  Build 203

First public release.

Sample

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Structures which cannot be simulated in the current version:

 

 

A mechanism which connects two parts with more than one movable pin.
 
A structure with a triangular connection which is connected to other parts at only one point.    

Usage

1 The name and function of each part.
(1) Parts palette. (disk parts, rod parts, and other parts can be selected via the upper tab.)

(2) Pins palette and pens palette. (pins and pens can be selected via the upper tab.)

(3) Move parts tool.

(4) Menu.

(5) Control for automatic simulation.

(6) The slider controlling a manual simulation.

(7) Mouse coordinates display.

(8) Parts arrangement area.

2 Arranging parts.
Disk parts, rod parts and other parts on the parts palette can be placed in the simulation area by left-dragging the mouse.

Red-colored parts are powered and rotate themselves during the simulation. Only one powered part may be included in a simulation.
 


3 Arranging and rotating parts which are not connected.
The parts which are not connected with any other parts can be re-arranged freely in the simulation area by left-dragging the mouse.

Each part can be rotated to a free angle by left-dragging the mouse while holding the Shift key on the keyboard.

Parts can also be rotated by choosing "Rotation" in the context menu displayed by right-clicking the mouse on a part.
 


4 The arrangement of a pins.
Pins from the pins palette may be placed into a pinhole of a part in the simulation area by left-dragging the pin from the palette to the simulation area.

A round pin is movable and can be arranged only between two parts.
A square pin is fixed, and when running a simulation it is the center of rotation. During a simulation, it cannot move from the point where it is placed.


5 The movement and rotation of the connected parts.
Parts which are connected to other parts via only one pin can be rotated around the pin point by left-dragging the mouse.
(In the right figure, part(1) rotates.)

Part(2) can rotate around the pin point by left-dragging the mouse while holding the Shift key on the keyboard.
(In the right figure, part(2) rotates.)


6 Using pens.
A pen on the pens palette can be placed in a pinhole of parts in the simulation area by left-dragging the mouse.

Each color pen may be placed only once per simulation.
(A maximum of four different colored pens may be placed in a simulation simultaneously.)

Placing a pen creates a locus during the simulation.

In addition, keep in mind that the speed of the simulation will probably be slower when drawing a locus.


7 Deletion of a part, a pin, or a pen.
To delete a part, pin or pen from the simulation area, choose "Delete" from the context menu displayed by right-clicking the mouse on the part which you want to delete.

Be careful, the parts to which pins or pens are connected cannot be deleted. When deleting a part, first delete the pins or pens connected to the part.


8 The property (attribute) display of parts, pins, and pens.
To display the property window and attributes of a part, select "Property…" from the context menu displayed by right-clicking the mouse on a part, pin, or pen in the simulation area.

9 Moving all of the parts. (four directions.)
All the parts arranged in the simulation area can be simultaneously moved up, down, left or right by clicking the arrows on the move parts tool.

10 Execution of a simulation. (automatic execution.)
When pressing the arrows in the controls for automatic simulation, a powered disk (a red-colored disk) rotates clockwise (right-handed rotation) and counter-clockwise (left-handed rotation), and the simulation is put into motion.

The simulation can be stopped by pressing the control arrows during the simulation.

The speed of rotation can be chosen in the combo box in the controls for automatic simulation.


11 Execution of a simulation. (manual execution.)
The manual simulation can be put into motion by left-dragging the slider for manual simulation.

By operating the slider, the powered disk can be rotated from 0 degrees to 720 degrees.


12 (Menu) Erase Locus.
By pressing the "Erase locus" button in the menu, the locus drawn with the pen is erased.

13 (Menu) Erase All.
By pressing the "Erase all" button in the menu, all the parts in the simulation area are erased.

14 (Menu) Return.
By pressing the "Return" button in the menu, the parts are returned to the previous location.
 

15 (Menu) Undo.
By pressing the "Undo" button in the menu, the last arrangement or movement operation is returned to the previous state.

16 (Menu) Redo.
By pressing the "Redo" button in the menu, the previous Undo action is canceled.

17 (Menu) Open a model.
By pressing the "Open a model" button in the menu, the dialog window for "Opening the file of a linkage mechanism" is displayed, and a saved linkage mechanism can be loaded.

The file extension of a saved linkage structure for this "Linkage mechanism simulator" is "*.lsd".




18 (Menu) Save a model.
By pressing the "Save a model" button in the menu, the dialog window for "Saving the data of the linkage mechanism" is displayed, and the present arrangement of parts in the simulation area can be saved.

The file extension of a saved linkage structure for this "Linkage mechanism simulator" is "*.lsd".




19 (Menu) Save an image.
By pressing the "Save an image" button in the menu, the dialog window for "Designating an area" is displayed. Please left-drag the mouse and designate an area which you want to save.
(The aspect ratio of the designated area is fixed to 4:3.)

By pressing the OK button after selecting an area, the dialog window for "Saving the image of the linkage mechanism" is displayed, and the image of the present parts which are in the simulation area can be saved as a still picture file.

By selecting the checkbox for continuous image, a series of still pictures of the powered disk rotating by 20 degrees per image can be saved.

The formats of the file in which still pictures can be saved are JPG, BMP and GIF.






20 (Menu) Print an image.
By pressing the "Print an image" button in the menu, the dialog window for "Designating an area" is displayed. Please left-drag the mouse and designate an area which you want to print.
(The aspect ratio of the designated area is fixed to 4:3.)

By pressing the OK button after selecting an area, the dialog window for "Printing" is displayed. The image of the present parts which are in the simulation area can be printed out.

By selecting the checkbox for continuous images, a series of still pictures of the powered disk rotating by 20 degrees per image can be printed out.






21 (Menu) Create a movie.
By pressing the "Create a movie" button in the menu, the dialog window for "Designating an area" is displayed. Please left-drag the mouse and designate the area of the image which you want to save.
(The aspect ratio of the designated area is fixed to 4:3.)

By pressing the OK button, after selecting an area, the dialog window for "Saving the linkage mechanism simulation movie" is displayed, and the present simulation which is arranged in the simulation area can be saved as a movie file or an animation file.

The formats for the file in which a linkage mechanism simulation movie can be saved are MPEG-1, AVI, or animated GIF.
 








22 (Menu) process display.
By pressing the "Process display"  button in the menu, the Process Display Window appears.

The process and result of the calculation of the simulation is displayed in the process display window.

In order to close the process display window, please press the Close button in the window, or please press the “Disp. Processing” button in the menu again.

Keep in mind that the speed of the simulation is probably slower when displaying the process window.
 




23 (Menu) Exit
By pressing the Exit button in the menu, the linkage mechanism simulator ends.
(A confirmation dialog box is displayed before the program exits.)

Instructions for assembling the linkage mechanism simulator model

1 A fundamental model
(1) Take the power parts (the red disk/circle in the picture).

(2) Attach the blue rod to the red disk/circle with the movable pin.

(3) Attach the blue triangle to the blue rod, using the movable pin.

(4) Attach a fixed pin -shown with a black square in the diagram- to the blue triangle.

(5) Repeat step 1-4.
 

2 The assembles procedure of a model
(1) When assembling a complicated model, work slowly, checking each motion before you do the next thing. (Refer to the following figure.)
(2) We cannot test each individual part when the assembly is finished.