Author: Rob Campbell

A Visual Guide to Kinematic Mount Design

Kinematic mount design can be complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. This visual how-to guide highlights the decisions, criteria, and calculations involved in designing a robust, highly repeatable kinematic mount. Color-coding helps you to understand the relationship and impact of one decision on another, as you optimize the mount using this iterative design process. A kinematic mount is simple in concept: One rigid body is precisely located relative to another by no more than six points of contact, eliminating one of the six degrees of freedom for each point and allowing precision motion in the remaining directions. But it is more complex in execution: Define the objectives and requirements for the application Identify the criteria that will be used to evaluate whether these objectives and requirements are met, such as Hertz stress (contact stress) and repeatability Identify the external factors and constraints such as space claim and external loads Design the mount Select and layout of the contact points to allow only the desired degrees of freedom, while maintaining stability and high repeatability, within the constraint of the available space claim. Calculate the necessary preload to resist external loads and maintain relative position after assembly Design the kinematic contacts – select the mating materials and specify the finishes; specify the diameter of balls; define the contact angles between balls and grooves – such that they satisfy the repeatability and stability requirements while...

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Laying Out a Kinematic Mount Using the Maxwell Criterion

In this video, we look at how to layout a kinematic mount and optimize the design for stability and repeatability using the Maxwell criterion. To download a kinematic mount CAD model to explore the concepts we discuss to and freely adapt it for your own use, click the link below: Download the kinematic mount model This is a Maxwell style kinematic mount, which uses three balls in three v-grooves to establish six points of contact, exactly constraining the top plate relative to the bottom. The equilateral triangle layout is very common, and its symmetry has several a number of...

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Modeling and Design of a Kinematic Mount in CAD (Using SolidWorks)

Kinematic mounts are one of the most powerful tools in precision machine design and optomechanical engineering. In this video, we look at modeling and designing a kinematic mount in CAD, using SolidWorks. We briefly review specific aspects of kinematic mount design – such as kinematic constraint, preload mechanisms, and contact stress – as well as the construction of this particular CAD model and how to adapt it to your needs. To download this CAD model of a Maxwell-style kinematic mount, explore the concepts we discuss, and freely adapt it for your own use, click the link below: Download the...

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Freely adapt & use this kinematic mount model

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