The purpose of this study is to develop a PC-based software system for representation and analysis of mechanisms. The program is so designed to be easy to use and user-friendly. Transparency and future expandability have also been considered as important guidelines. The main function of the system is to facilitate a computer tool for a step-by-step construction of various mechanisms following an existing design or new layout in mind. Once the mechanism is represented, a kinematic analysis is made and displayed or animated.
It has nine modules, all menu driven. The main module is for user interface through a mouse selectable menu. Among the others are input, edit, file management, kinematic analysis, graphic output, graph and numeric output, display control, and miscellaneous function module.
There are ten basic planar components and ten basic spatial components. A MACRO element is introduced. It is a user defined basic component, representing a set of interconnected basic components. Also introduced is the concept of mechanism editor for manipulation of generated mechanisms and their data structure. Error handling routines and sufficient messages are included.
The program has been tested for correctness of the analysis and effectiveness as an indispensable design tool demonstrated through examples.