New LinkageDesigner Application for Mechanical Design with Mathematica

October 18, 2005--Wolfram Research is pleased to announce the availability of LinkageDesigner, a new application package for virtual prototyping of linkages with Mathematica. LinkageDesigner provides an environment for modeling simple or complex mechanisms with minimal effort. Its complete integration with the Mathematica technical computing system allows engineers to perform more sophisticated and extensive analyses than are possible with other mechanism prototyping software.

LinkageDesigner was developed for parametrized mechanism modeling, the starting point for solving many design problems such as synthesis, path-planning, and mechanism corrections. It enables users to analyze, synthesize, and simulate linkages with serial chain, tree, and graph structures. Mathematica's symbolic calculation capabilities open the door to time-saving algebraic optimization and problem-solving methods for computer-aided mechanism design and CAD-CAM-CNC integration.

Features of LinkageDesigner include:

  • Automatic generation of nonredundant loop-closing equations for single and multiple loops
  • Detection of non-feasible and lock-up mechanisms while defining the model
  • Parametrized linkage definitions for identical treatment of 2D and 3D mechanisms
  • New flexible and user-extensible LinkageData data type for storage of all information associated with a mechanism
  • Easy copying of LinkageData objects between mechanisms
  • Calculation of translational velocity, angular velocity, and higher-order derivatives of any links in the linkage in closed form
  • Visualization and animation of linkages in Mathematica notebooks
  • Export to Dynamic Visualizer, LiveGraphics3D, or VRML97

LinkageDesigner comes with full electronic documentation in both PDF and Mathematica Help Browser formats. A Quick Tour provides an overview of the package's features to help new users get started quickly and easily, while detailed explanations provide a helpful reference to topics covered in a standard textbook on multibody kinematics.

Developed and supported by Dr. Gábor Erdős, a senior research associate in the Computer and Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Science, LinkageDesigner is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms, and is designed for use with Mathematica 5.0 or higher.

More information is available on the LinkageDesigner website.