Category: Precision Machine Design

Precision machine design is the discipline of designing a device so it can hold a position, move to a position, or follow a position with a level of accuracy that is many orders of magnitude smaller than the size of the device itself. While traditional mechanical engineering is the domain of stress, precision machine design is the domain of deflection.

The Principle of Kinematic Constraint

The advantage of a kinematic mount is that it locates one rigid body relative to another with very high repeatability, without over-constraining the body or introducing instability. It accomplishes this by using the precise number (and arrangement) of contact points needed to allow the desired degrees of freedom – no more and no less. That is the principle of kinematic constraint, which this article will show how to apply in your designs.

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Machining and modeling trihedral sockets for a kinematic mount

Kinematic mounting is the concept of locating and orienting a rigid body by no more than N points of contact, where (6 – N) is the remaining number of degrees of freedom (DOF). A trihedral socket provides exactly three points of contact, leaving the three rotational degrees of freedom, like a traditional ball and socket joint but with much higher precision. But a trihedral socket can be difficult to machine. This article discusses a number of methods for fabricating a trihedral socket that can produce both true and approximate kinematic mounting, for use in both precision machine design and optomechanical engineering applications.

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Freely adapt & use this kinematic mount model

Learn 5 Techniques for Lightweight Optics