## Theory of Machines and Mechanisms Fifth Edition by John J. Uicker & Gordon R. Pennock & Joseph E. Shigley

The tremendous growth of scientific knowledge over the past 50 years has resulted in an intense pressure on the engineering curricula of many universities to substitute “modern” subjects in place of subjects perceived as weaker or outdated. The result is that, for some, the kinematics and dynamics of machines has remained a critical component of the curriculum and a requirement for all mechanical engineering students, while at others, a course on these subjects is only made available as an elective topic for specialized study by a small number of engineering students. Some schools, depending largely on the faculty, require a greater emphasis on mechanical design at the expense of depth of knowledge in analytical techniques. Rapid advances in technology, however, have produced a need for a textbook that satisfies the requirement of new and changing course structures.

Much of the new knowledge in the theory of machines and mechanisms currently exists in a large variety of technical journals and manuscripts, each couched in its own singular language and nomenclature and each requiring additional background for clear comprehension. It is possible that the individual published contributions could be used to strengthen engineering courses if the necessary foundation was provided and a common notation and nomenclature was established. These new developments could then be integrated into existing courses to provide a logical, modern, and comprehensive whole. The purpose of this book is to provide the background that will allow such an integration.

This book is intended to cover that field of engineering theory, analysis, design, and practice that is generally described as mechanisms or as kinematics and dynamics of machines. Although this text is written primarily for students of mechanical engineering, the content can also be of considerable value to practicing engineers throughout their professional careers. To develop a broad and basic comprehension, the text presents numerous methods of analysis and synthesis that are common to the literature of the field. The authors have included graphic methods of analysis and synthesis extensively throughout the book, because they are firmly of the opinion that graphic methods provide visual feedback that enhances the student’s understanding of the basic nature of, and interplay between, the underlying equations. Therefore, graphic methods are presented as one possible solution technique, but are always accompanied by vector equations defined by the fundamental laws of mechanics, rather than as graphic “tricks” to be learned by rote and applied blindly. In addition, although graphic techniques, performed by hand, may lack accuracy, they can be performed quickly, and even inaccurate sketches can often provide reasonable estimates of a solution and can be used to check the results of analytic or numeric solution techniques.

The authors also use conventional methods of vector analysis throughout the book, both in deriving and presenting the governing equations and in their solution. Raven’s methods using complex algebra for the solution of two-dimensional vector equations are included because of their compactness, because of the ease of taking derivatives, because they are employed so frequently in the literature, and because they are so easy to program for computer evaluation. In the chapter dealing with three-dimensional kinematics and robotics, the authors present a brief introduction to Denavit and Hartenberg’s methods using transformation matrices. Another feature of this text is its focus on the method of kinematic coefficients, which are derivatives of motion variables with respect to the input position variable(s) rather than with respect to time. The authors believe that this analytic technique provides several important advantages, namely: (1) Kinematic coefficients clarify for the student those parts of a motion problem that are kinematic (geometric) in their nature, and clearly separate these from the parts that are dynamic or speed dependent. (2) Kinematic coefficients help to integrate the analysis of different types of mechanical systems, such as gears, cams, and linkages, which might not otherwise seem similar.

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