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Softlink: A Matlab/Simulink Based Code For The Analysis, Synthesis, Optimization, And Simulation Of Mechanisms

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Mechanical Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1020.1 - 8.1020.11



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Paper Authors

author page

Firas Zeineddine

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Ahmad Smaili

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

Session 2666

SoftLink: A Matlab/Simulink Based Code for the Analysis, Synthesis, Optimization and Simulation of Mechanisms

Ahmad Smaili, Firas Zeineddine

Mechanical Engineering Department American University of Beirut Beirut, Lebanon


This paper presents version-I of SoftLink, a software package based on Simulink and Matlab for the synthesis and analysis of linkage mechanisms. The purpose of the package is to provide teachers/students with a user-friendly, easy to use tool to facilitate teaching/learning of analysis and synthesis of mechanisms using the familiar programming platform provided by Matlab/Simulink which is used to solve a myriad of other engineering problems. SoftLink is organized and structured to facilitate future additions and enhancements. The current version of SoftLink provides for the analysis, synthesis, optimization, and simulation of 4R mechanisms. Precision point synthesis methods and optimimum synthesis techniques are coded to yield a mechanism for a specific task. The code is designed such that kinematic and dynamic analysis and synthesis of other linkage mechanisms, gear drives, and cam-follower mechanisms may be easily included in future versions. The basic structure of SoftLink is described in detail and two application examples on 4R synthesis are presented to demonstrate its usefulness.


Mechanisms are mechanical devices that are used extensively in a myriad of applications which include home-tools, toys, automobiles, and machines. They are essential to the development and operation of almost any machine. Every mechanical engineering program includes a course designed to introduce students to various types of mechanisms. The wide range of topics to be covered and the limited time available pose a challenge to provide students with necessary modern tools to analyze and synthesize mechanisms. As such a simple code using a familiar programming environment would enhance the course offerings and allow for more coverage of mechanism design.

Linkage designer can put to use one of several powerful commercially available kinematic packages. Most notable of these packages are LINKAGES 20001 and SyMec2. These packages are designed to yield solutions for precision position synthesis problems of 4R mechanisms for motion, path, and function generation tasks. Computer aided mechanism packages like ADAMS3, Pro/E4, AutoCAD5, and IDEAS6 have also been used for mechanism design tasks.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society of Engineering Education

Zeineddine, F., & Smaili, A. (2003, June), Softlink: A Matlab/Simulink Based Code For The Analysis, Synthesis, Optimization, And Simulation Of Mechanisms Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11943

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