thinkMOTION – Digital Mechanism and Gear Library (DMG-Lib) goes Europeana


thinkMOTION is a European joint project in which the Institute for Mechanism Theory, Machine Dynamics and Robotics is involved. The aim of the project is to make gearing technology content available to a worldwide audience in the European cultural and scientific database "Europeana".

The Europeana (cf. Figure 1) is a database that went online in 2008 to make Europe's cultural and scientific knowledge accessible to a broad public. In doing so, Europeana remains a pure reference work that contains basic information, but refers to an original context for further research. In the joint project thinkMOTION, gearing technology content, movement mechanisms and related materials will be provided to Europeana. The Digital Mechanisms and Gearbox Library (DMG-Lib for short, see Figure 2) forms the basis and further media library for this subject area, in which all information retrievable via Europeana is anchored. The following areas of motion mechanisms and transmission technology are covered:

dmg lib

The user has the possibility to approach the knowledge and science area of the transmissions from different directions on the platform. From a historical point of view, there is the possibility to get closer to different discoveries, inventions and personalities involved in them by means of a timeline. A search function provides direct access to specific and desired content with a full text search. In addition, a mechanism search opens up the option of determining gear mechanisms that are adapted to a specific situation on the basis of the gear structure, guidance or transfer task. Basics can be learned through the interactive book "Gearbox technology: Basics". The site benefits from numerous interactive animations (cf. Figure 3), in which the motion sequences of gears are vividly illustrated, can be controlled automatically and are therefore easily accessible to the user.


Each element contains detailed information on the gear structure, management task and application area. This includes, for example, the basic gear type contained in the mechanism. The information is supplemented by the provision of videos and images, as well as the linking to further or basic entries (cf. figure 4).
dmg liste

Users from different areas will be addressed. For teachers and students from universities, it is intended to be a reference work and a source of information for new findings. Designers and scientists from industry are to be introduced to innovative ideas of motion tasks and historians, as well as interested people are to get an opportunity to inform themselves extensively about gears and their past.

The thinkMOTION project is intended to make this far-reaching opportunity to impart knowledge available to Europe and the rest of the world. The Institute for Mechanism Theory, Machine Dynamics and Robotics at RWTH Aachen University cooperates with universities from all over Europe to offer the content in different languages and thus make it available to a broad public. The project is coordinated by the TU Ilmenau. The project will run for three years (06/2010 to 05/2013) and is funded by the ICT Policy Support Programme of the European Commission.


You are working in the field of motion technology and would like to support our project? Please contact us if you would like to receive further information.



Institute of Mechanism Theory, Machine Dynamics and Robotics

RWTH Aachen University

Eilfschornsteinstraße 18

52062 Aachen



Phone: +49 241 80 95546

Fax:      +49 241 80 92263


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