Computer Aided Simulation of a 4BL Problem With MATHLAB

Computer Aided Simulation of a 4BL Problem With MATHLAB

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0465-9.ch004


In this chapter, the synthesis and analysis of four link bar (4BL) mechanisms problem, which is a well-known classical design problem, is discussed. However, limitations to the classical theory of this problem potentially limit its application to certain real-world problems by virtue of the small number of precision points and unspecified order. A prototype of the problem was designed and simulated for visualizing a four-bar link (4BL – simple movable closed chain linkage) mechanism engineering problem using MATLAB software. The aim is to facilitate the analysis, dynamic simulation of the four-bar mechanisms. First, a brief review of some of the current computer-aided learning software for four-bar mechanisms is presented. These software packages provide two-dimensional visualization and computational capabilities necessary to synthesize and analyze four-bar mechanisms. The chapter also reviews the kinematics of four-bar mechanisms as they pertain to their geometric modelling followed by the design approach of the graphical MATLAB simulation for 4BL mechanisms. A preliminary validation test using pre- and posttest questionnaires and focus group discussion with student participation in using the MATLAB simulation has facilitated in visualizing the engineering concepts of 4BL mechanism at UNITEN.
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Basic Theory Of 4Bl Mechanisms

One of the objectives of this research was to study and understand the motion of the 4BL mechanism and see how it could be simulated (Manjit, 2011). The purpose of this mechanism is to transmit motion and force from one location to another. The theory of this mechanism can be understood by the 4BL (which consists of four rigid bodies each attached to two others by single joints or pivots to form a closed loop) (Wikipedia, 2011) and (Oleg, 2000). This problem was chosen because in the past it was found that some students could not visualize its concepts in engineering at UNITEN. In addition we could not find any completed 2-D model of this problem in the present literatures. Some free available simulations found on the Internet (Fig. 1 and 2) however gave wrong results and misinterpreted the data and were not interactive enough. As such these simulations were not suitable and helpful for the students to learn.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Matlab: MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and proprietary programming language developed by MathWork.

4BL: Series of rigid links with joins to form a closed chain.

Simulation: Is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time: an object oriented model represents reality.

Visualization: Is any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message. Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of humanity.

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