Cam Speed and the Cam-Follower Contact Force.

The Cam-Follower Roller and the Follower Part [Rocker] have mass. As you increase the machine speed, you will also increase its acceleration and inertia force.

In this step, we will give the Cam-Follower a Motion - from MotionDesigner. We increase the machine speed until the Contact-Force between the Cam and Cam-Follower becomes zero or negative.

Add a Motion to the Cam-Follower.


This motion will move the Cam-Follower ±5º – a total swing of 10º.

Use the tools in MotionDesigner to design this motion.



1.Add a Motion FB to the graphic-area .
2.Edit the Motion FB and select the Motion1 in drop-down box.
3.Connect the Linear-Motion FB1s-red to the new Motion FB2s to the Motion-Dimension FB3s for the Cam-Follower.

I have deselected Display Force Vectors to make it easier to see the new shape of the 2D-Cam.

See, in the image:

The 2D-Cam4s
The original Cam-Profile5s.

Cam Contact Force


We can show Cam Contact-Force in the graphic area in three ways. Use the:

1.Display Force Vectors button. This shows:
the force vector that ACTS-ON the Cam-follower Part
the force vector that ACTS-ON the Cam-Part,

You must analyse whether the force between the cam and the follower is active or not.

2.Use: Cam Display and Properties dialog > Cam Display Options > Contact-Force.
3.Use a Force -Data FB, select the Cam as the Force element, plot with a Graph FB.

You must analyse whether the force between the cam and the follower is active or not.

4.Use a Cam-Data FB . Use the Contact Force output-connector to plot with a Graph FB.

If the Contact Force < zero,  Contact-Force is = zero. This is the preferred option for Cam Contact Force.


We will use the Cam Display and Properties dialog-box.

1.Double-click the 2D-Cam

The 2D-Cam dialog-box opens.

We want to show the contact force around the 2D-Cam.

In the Cam Display Options separator:

In the 'Display Cam Contour as...' box

Select 'Contact Force' radio-button

To see the colors more clearly, make the:

Line Thickness of Cam: = 3


In the graphic-area, the 2D-Cam shows the:

Cam is Colour Coded
Contact-Force at the contact point

You do not need to show the Forces with the Display Force Vectors


The contact is in fact along the width of the Cam-Roller.

The Line becomes a small rectangle area as the cam and roller deform. Thus, there is a contact stress..

See Cam Analysis and Design Checklist.


Drag the Master-Machine-Angle Slider until the Contact-Force is at a minimum.

For my motion, this is at a Machine Angle of 109º.

The minimum Contact-Force agrees with, approximately, the maximum deceleration of the Cam-Follower Arm.


Open the Edit menu > Machine Settings dialog

Increase the Machine Speed until the Contact-Force becomes ~0N.

For my motion, the Contact-Force becomes ~0N when the cam-shaft rotates at ~91.5 Cycles per minute. (RPM)

The maximum speed is a function of:

The motion
The mass and mass distribution of the Cam-Follower Rocker

Are there ways to increase the speed of the cam-shaft, but use the same motion and the same mass distribution?

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