Description of Student Project in Computer Aided Design and Analysis for a Whitworth Quick Return Mechanism

The implementation of a Whitworth Quick Return Mechanism can be useful for applications requiring slow initial force and a quick reset operation. The design of such a Whitworth Quick Return Mechanism can be tedious to do by hand. High-end commercial computer applications are available that can help in designing a Whitworth Quick Return Mechanism but these applications are usually large and come with other packages that are not essential to the specified task. These commercial applications are also expensive for the general user. For students earning a degree in mechanical engineering, these black-box commercial software packages are suitable for explaining some basic principals and concepts with traditional graphic methods. However, In order to fully comprehend the subject matter, students must utilize numerical and analytical methods to solve complicated engineering problems. To this end a simple software package can be designed that allows this type of mechanism design. Such a package would require a simple user front end and easy to understand API. Users should be allowed to fully integrate the software package into their own code with the ability to either choose to specify an input torque or required output force. Students most benefit from an open software package as compared to a black-box commercial packages. Students are able to go through and examine the available source code and modify it to solve similar problems. By learning from examples, students will better understand the principles and numerical aspects of the subject matter.

Utilizing the C/C++ interpreter, Ch, a Whitworth Quick Return Mechanism software package has been created by students to facilitate in the design and analysis of this type of mechanism. The package contains the CQuickReturn class giving users the ability calculate the position, velocity, and acceleration of each linkage. Users can also plot the output motion of any linkage. Utilizing the QuickAnimation software available in the Ch Mechanism toolkit, the class provides a function to create an animation file that can be displayed by QuickAnimation showing the movements of the Whitworth Quick Return Mechanism over time. The entire implementation is shown on this website. Standalone code can be run on most any computer which has Ch and its Mechanism Toolkit and is available for download on the main page. Most of the functionality is available through the Web-based interface to the software which was also designed by students. It uses CGI to run the program on the server and return the results to the client over the Web. The code for all of these pages and the CGI based programs are also available for download and can be run by installing the Ch CGI Toolkit. The complete documentation created by the students about the Whitworth quick return analysis and detailing the above mentioned software is also available for download.

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