Add 2D-Cam with a Translating Flat-faced Cam-Follower

Add the Parts for the Cam and Cam-Follower

In this tutorial, the two Parts - Cam and Cam-Follower - are in two simple kinematic-chains

The Cam rotates continuously - it is Rocker [a Rocker that rotates continuously is usually called a 'Crank'].
The Cam-Follower slides - it is a Slider.


Add geometry in the Base-Part to locate:

the rotational centre of the Cam
the sliding axis of the Cam-Follower
STEP 1: Add a new Mechanism-Editor
STEP 2: Edit the Base-Part
STEP 3: Add a horizontal Line in the Base-Part. Its start-Point locates the centre of the Crank 1s-red  [The Line's start-Point is for the Pin-Joint, and the horizontal Line is the 'solved' Line we need when we add the Motion-Dimension FB]
STEP 4: Add a different Line to the Base-Part to locate to the sliding direction of the Slider 2s. The start-Point of the Line will be the 'solved' Point we need when we add the Motion-Dimension FB.
STEP 5: Add dimensions and constraints to the Line sketch-elements

In the image, you can see that Line2s for the Slider is not vertical or horizontal, or on a radial axis from the Cam centre-Point 1s-red.

If you study the image above, you will see that Line that we have added for the Slider , we will add for the Cam-Follower

at an angle of 50º
offset from a radial axis from the centre of the Cam-Shaft by 10mm.

The offset will not change the cam. It only moves the contact point to the left or the right of the sliding axis. Thus it will change the 'overturning moment', which is the force that tilts the sliding-Part in its slide-way.

Notice also: the short line that is perpendicular [⊥] to the Slider Line2s. The short Line is to dimension the perpendicular distance from the centre-Point of the Crank-axis to the start-Point of the slider-axis. The dimension is 100.00 in the image.


STEP 6: Close the Part-Editor
STEP 7: Add a Crank1s-red. A Part with a Pin-Joint, and a Motion-Dimension FB to give the rotational angle of the Cam-Shaft.
STEP 8: Add a Slider2s. A Part with a Slide-Joint, and a Motion-Dimension FB to give the linear position of the Cam-Follower..
STEP 9: Add the Linear-Motion and Motion FB, and connect the wires to the two Motion-Dimension FBs.

Step 9 is complete


STEP 10: Edit a Motion for the Slider - about 30mm stroke.

Add the sketch-loop to the Slider for the Cam-Follower

We must make a sketch-loop for the cam-follower. Clearly, for a flat-faced follower, one of the sketch-elements must be a Line. I have found the best shape for the flat-faced-follower is a long-narrow rectangle. One long side becomes the contact surface.

The long sides of the rectangle  are most frequently perpendicular [⊥] to the direction of the cam-follower's motion. However, it is possible to that the long-side are a different angle relative to the Cam-follower's motion.


STEP 1: Add a 'Line'1s-red that will be in contact with the cam.
Add the Line so its mid-point is approximately at the sliding axis of the Slider
You may need to edit the length of line later.
The Line can also be at a small angle relative to the direction of the Slider's Motion. In this case it 10º (90-80) from perpendicular [⊥].
STEP 2: Complete a long narrow rectangle -  with a short Line2s that is perpendicular [⊥] to Line1s-red
STEP 3: Complete the sketch with dimensions and constraints.


Step 3 is complete.

Make sure the rectangle is a 'sketch-loop'.

Sketch of Flat-Face Cam-Follower

STEP 4: Exit the Part-Editor
STEP 5: Add a Profile to the sketch-loop rectangle

To add the Profile, use :

1.Solid Toolbar > Add Profile

- or -

1.Solid menu > Add Profile


Step 5 is complete.


Add the 2D-Cam

MechDesigner always calculates an external and an internal cam. For a Flat-Faced Follower, we must hide the external cam.


STEP 1: Add a 2D-Cam

You can use the:

1.Machine-elements toolbar > Add 2D-Cam

- or -

1.Add menu > Mechanism sub-menu > Add 2D-Cam

-or -

1.Right-click the graphic area
2.Click Add 2D-Cam in the contextual-menu.

When Add 2D-Cam is active [the cursor is 'Add 2D-Cam']:

1.Click the Crank1s-red
2.Click the Profile2s - the long, narrow rectangle.

Finally, to end the Add 2D-Cam command:

3.Click OK in the Command-Manager

- or -

4.Right-click the graphic-area


You can see in the image, that there are two Cam-Profiles.

Cam 1 and Cam 2 are in contact with the two long sides of the Flat-Faced Cam-Follower.

We must hide the 'outside' cam.

We can hide the 'outside' cam with the Cam Properties and Display dialog-box.

STEP 2: Edit the 2D-Cam

To edit the 2D-Cam

1.Move your mouse-pointer over the 2D-Cam so that it becomes red
2.Double-click the cam.

The 2D-Cam Properties and Display dialog-box opens.


In the 2D-Cam Properties and display dialog:

Cam Display tab: Cam Visibilities separator

STEP 3: Click the Cam1 (or Cam2) to hide one of the Cams


In the Cam Properties and Display dialog-box it is also possible to show the 'Pitch-Curve'

The Pitch-Curve has no meaning with Flat-faced Followers.


Does the Cam make contact with the Flat-Faced Follower for the complete rotation of the cam?

Are there 'flats' on the cam?

If a 'flat' appears on the cam1s-red, then you must edit the model - see below.


You must edit the one or all of these parameters

motion - so the Slider does not need to move as far or move as quickly. This may not be an option of course.
make the flat-faced follower longer
move the Slider nearer to the centre of the Crank (but be careful of undercutting)
offset the rectangle of the flat-faced follower to one side of the Slider


Move the Slider's Axis so that it is not radial [on a ray] from the cam center.


On this occasion I have made the Cam-Follower longer.

Tutorial and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 13.2 + © Machine, Mechanism, Motion and Cam Design Software by PSMotion Ltd