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Full Cycle Solution For 3 D Offset Slider Crank Kinematics: Pseudographics A Pedagogic Examination Of A Non Traditional Computational Method

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ME Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.651.1 - 10.651.9



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Paper Authors

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Peter Boyle

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Full Cycle Solution for 3-D Offset Slider Crank Kinematics: Pseudographics - A Pedagogic Examination of a Non-Traditional Computational Method

W. P. Boyle

Professor, Division of Engineering, Saint Mary’s University Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3C3 Phone: (902) 420-5698 Fax: (902) 420-5110 email:


The slider crank is a mechanism that students encounter at an early stage in the study of both 2-D and 3-D kinematics. In the current paper this classic device is used as an exemplar for a coordinate geometry based method, with the coined name of “pseudographics”, that provides an option to the more familiar textbook vectorial approach.

Pseudographics employs a commercial equation solving software to generate coordinates of the kinematic polygons for position, velocity and acceleration. The lines and arcs used to construct 2-D diagrams are replaced in 3-D pseudographics by equations for a straight line, a plane and the surface of a sphere. Because it avoids cross and dot products, matrices and repeated differentiations, the method has a lowered demand for skills in mathematics. The author sees pseudographics fulfilling the dual role of providing engineering students with an alternative to the prevalent textbook technique, and also opening a door to the understanding of mechanism kinematics to students who do not have a background in engineering mathematics.

A determination of the angular velocity of the connecting rod is emphasized. Lecture experience has shown that the visualization of the motion of this member provides a learning challenge. Pseudographics uses 3-D coordinate geometry in conjunction with motion limitations for a single rigid body to identify kinematics features of the slider crank. Students appreciate that information on full cycle behaviour is necessary for design work, so output plots of some kinematic features for a revolution of the input driving crank are presented. Computer codes are appended.

In closing, the paper summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of pseudographics in comparison to current textbook approaches to 3-D mechanisms. Student reaction is provided in brief, and future work in pseudographics is indicated.


The purpose of the work presented in this paper is to demonstrate the application of a coordinate geometry based technique in 3-D mechanism kinematics.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition “Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”.

Boyle, P. (2005, June), Full Cycle Solution For 3 D Offset Slider Crank Kinematics: Pseudographics A Pedagogic Examination Of A Non Traditional Computational Method Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15412

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