Unit 1 Overview
Mechanisms are the basic components of most machines and consist of gears, sprockets, pulley systems, and simple machines. The effective use and understanding of mechanisms has contributed to the improvement and development of technology and society for thousands of years. The first uses of mechanisms can be seen in the development of Paleolithic tools used for hunting, gathering, and shelter construction. Today mechanisms can be found in everyday life from the basic components of a bicycle to the high-tech equipment used in the medical industry.
Engineers and scientists use mechanisms to manipulate speed, distance, force, and function to meet a wide range of design and application requirements. Engineering design applications can range from large-scale manufacturing equipment to small-scale electrical equipment found in automobiles, homes, and offices. Due to the wide range of applications involving mechanisms, it is important that designers and end users understand the characteristics, applications, and limitations of mechanisms.
In Lesson 1.1 Mechanisms, you will gain an understanding of mechanisms through the application of theory-based calculations accompanied by lab experimentation.