Synthesis Methodology and Function Optimization

  Simulation of Convertible Top Mechanism Copyright: © IGMR  

Over the years, engineering has solved various problems by designing machines and mechanisms, which must meet certain requirements to make the system work. Mechanism synthesis collects information about the required motion, required forces, boundary conditions, available space, and so on and with this information attempts to design a mechanism that meets all the requirements and provides the designer the length, configuration and final operation of the mechanism. In the synthesis process, it is also important to consider the optimization factor, which will make the designer get the most benefit from the mechanism.


The goal is to develop diverse mechanism synthesis processes, which include the optimization factor. These optimization factors will be defined by the user and will depend on the type of mechanism to be developed. This whole process is intended to provide the designer with the tools to design the desired mechanism, in addition, through this process, digital prototypes can be analyzed, which will save design time and manufacturing costs.


The implementation of the synthesis of mechanisms begins with the formulation of the problem including all the requirements, then the processing of the information must be done to convert it into technical data, with such data a synthesis method or theory is chosen until the conditions are satisfied, then through this method the quantitative synthesis is done, in which computational calculation tools are used and it is at this stage that the optimization part comes into play: the user defines the variables or characteristics that need to be maximized and those that need to be minimized, such as material savings, mechanical advantage, tracking of a defined path and number of components. Finally, the digital prototype can be tested with simulation programs to evaluate factors such as velocities, accelerations, vibration modes and deformations.


Projects Synthesis and Optimization

Model of Three Finger Gripper © Copyright: Estefania Hermoza Llanos

Three Finger Gripper

Simulation of a folding mechanism as a robot shell © Copyright: IGMR


Logo and schematic diagram of a mechanism © Copyright: IGMR

MechDev Calculation Core

User Interface of a Mechanism Software © Copyright: IGMR



Energy Efficiency

Field with wind turbines in the background Copyright: © IGMR

Climate change and rising energy prices mean that more and more attention must be paid to the development of energy-efficient mechanisms. In many production machines that run around the clock, mechanisms with uneven transmission ratios can be found. Typically, these mechanisms are driven by a constantly rotating motor. While constant drive motion is usually the simplest and most obvious, it is not the most energy-efficient way to drive a mechanism. Therefore, it becomes necessary to consider whether the drive motion can be optimized in terms of energy consumption. In theory, motion in which the energy of a mechanism is held constant is called Eigenmotion. Eigenmotion occurs when the motor is switched off during operation and the mechanism is left to its own devices. In practice, all that is then needed is drive torque from the motor to counteract frictional torques and useful torques.

  CAD model of the test bench movement device Copyright: © IGMR


The aim is to develop synthesis methods that can be used to design energy-efficient mechanisms. The theoretical basis can be found in the literature, but the design of energy-efficient mechanisms is not yet widely used in practice. This is because existing methods have not yet become established and uniform methods for the engineer without in-depth specialist knowledge do not yet exist.


For the development of energy-efficient mechanisms, the methods of power balancing serve. On the one hand, operation in Eigenmotion provides energy savings. To operate a mechanism in its Eigenmotion, the Eigenmotion at the input is first calculated. The motion at the output is then compared to the desired output motion. By optimizing the kinematic and dynamic parameters of the mechanism, the mechanism is modified so that the output motion during Eigenmotion corresponds to the desired output motion. Also, components such as springs and flywheels can be used to store excess energy and release it at another time. The existing methods will be investigated, optimized and integrated into a mechanism software so that engineers with and without expertise will be able to design an energy-efficient mechanism.

In addition to the research topic of energy efficiency in the area of mechanism theory, there are also bundled research activities on the topic of sustainability in all of the institute's research fields.