Feeling out of my league. Reading suggestions?

Feeling out of my league. Reading suggestions?

Postby GrahamHolt » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:58 pm

In reading some of the posts, such as the GUSStrap thread, I'm feeling completely inadequate with regards to my knowledge of mechanical things. I've got a copy of the Mechanisms & Mechanical Devices Sourcebook by Chrionis, which is good for getting ideas, but I'm looking for something that has more fundamentals such as alternate gear toothings, gear ratios, everything you needed to know about belt drives but were afraid to ask.

Presently I'm looking at:
Mechanics by Hartog, http://www.amazon.com/dp/0486607542/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=XD01M86FH8Y6&coliid=I2M4K2XNXAB00J
Mechanical Engineering Design by Shigley, http://www.amazon.com/dp/007056888X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=XD01M86FH8Y6&coliid=I3ODIQQ3US2GSX

If anyone has thoughts on this topic, I'd love to hear them. I prefer books to online resources, but if there is a go to online resource that works then please include it.

Thank you,
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Re: Feeling out of my league. Reading suggestions?

Postby Nicholas Seward » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:14 pm

I wish I had a book or a list of books that I could share. I have my college set of textbooks that are useful to me but only because I spent months with them and I know what parts are useful and what parts aren't.

Here is the cold hard truth. Even getting a mechanical engineering degree won't fully bring you up to speed. This project pulls on knowledge from so many areas. College, books, websites, projects, trial&error, etc.

All that said, I am sure we all won't mind sharing what little we know with you. I personally invite questions of understanding. If you follow the whole development of Simpson then you will see that it went through many iterations and that several of those changes were the result of someone asking a question or making a suggestion even if the question or suggestion was a "bad" one. My favorite suggestion was from Guizmo. He wanted to make an arm that used a train of gears to transmit the force up to the elbow. On the surface that was a "bad" idea because there would be tons of backlash but in the end it turned into what we now know as the "gear arm". (If you just jump in you are bound to get wet.)

One thing that you will rarely find in any text book is a discussion on Cycloidal gearing. It is a rarely used technology. In fact, there is really only one or two websites that I have found that talk about them seriously. http://switzernet.com/people/emin-gabrielyan/100512-gear-engine/ To make matters worse, cycloidal gears refer to a whole class of gears. I use a particular type that is a hybrid between a epicicloid curve and a hypocycloid curve. (Sorry for the lingo.) This style looks like a bunch of semicircles chained together and leads many people to assume that I just don't know how to make "proper" gears and approximated the gear form with circles. Other cycloidal gears may look more like involute gears.

The only reason I know about cycloidal gearing is from a side comment one of my professors made one day. He said that cycloidal gears have lower friction then involute gears but are only used in watches because they typically have to be made in pairs. For some reason it just stuck with me. I always wanted to find an excuse to us them and 10 years later it happened to be the perfect solution for the gear arm.

Here is a really cool website that has some old forgotten mechanisms and some that are still used today.
Nicholas Seward
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Re: Feeling out of my league. Reading suggestions?

Postby GrahamHolt » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:22 pm

Thank you for the response. I'm definitely getting ready to jump in and ask some interesting questions. I like that this is a collaborative process and that the design is still evolving. We all have different strengths and perspectives, so I guess that's what makes these kind of projects possible. I look forward to learning along with everyone and to help the project along when I can.

That is a really cool mechanical device website. Very visual with the thumbnails. It's kind of like an easier to use version of the Mechanisms & Mechanical Devices Sourcebook that I have.

Now I just need to get the printer that I have on order, build it, calibrate it and start printing my GUS.
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