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Utilizing Computational Tools to Enhance Student’s Understanding of Linkage Mechanism

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2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting


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Publication Date

November 12, 2021

Start Date

November 12, 2021

End Date

November 13, 2021

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Paper Authors


Zhiyuan Yu

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Dr. Zhiyuan Yu is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology at Miami University since Aug., 2019. Prior to joining Miami University, he was an Assistant Teaching Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Pennsylvania State University from 2017 to 2019. He has developed a strong interest in undergraduate engineering education and has been teaching a wide range of courses in ME/MET department. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 2017. His research interests include linkage kinematics, computational mechanics, and modern theory of gearing. His research in gear transmission have been applied in robotics, marine transmissions, machine tools, and construction machinery.

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Jiawei Gong Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Jiawei Gong is an assistant professor or Mechanical Engineering at The Pennsylvania state university, The Behrend College.

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This research presents analysis of a quick return linkage mechanism utilizing computational software Mathcad and Inventor. It is implemented as a class project to enhance Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology students’ understanding of linkage mechanism in courses Dynamics and Machine Dynamics. The objectives of the project are to teach (1) kinematic and kinetic analysis of linkage mechanism (2) engineering math software Mathcad to solve the analytical model, (3) verifying the model by multibody dynamics simulation software Inventor. Loop closure equations based on complex number are first modeled and solved to find positions, velocities and accelerations of the linkage in Mathcad. Based on the kinematic solution, a kinetic analysis is carried out using distributed mass models in Mathcad as well as in Inventor simulation. The reactions and torques at the input link are found identical to those derived from simulation with negligible deviation. Integrating industry commonly used software Mathcad and Inventor in the project reduces the mathematical difficulties often encountered by engineering students. The course project assignment grade demonstrates that the use of these tools enhances the student’s understanding for linkage mechanism. The feedback from instructors shows the project make the course dynamic and engaging. The software-based project suits well for online teaching and learning.

Yu, Z., & Gong, J. (2021, November), Utilizing Computational Tools to Enhance Student’s Understanding of Linkage Mechanism Paper presented at 2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting, Virtually Hosted by the section.

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