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Operation of mechanisms and machines

  1. Oct 25, 2016 #1
    Is it possible for a mechanical engineer or even a mechanical engineering student to know how a mechanism or a machine works only through an image (photography, drawing ...)? And if so, what subjects should I study to have this ability ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2016 #2


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    Yes. If you have to ask ... doesn't look too hopeful.
  4. Oct 25, 2016 #3
    Are there specific subjects that I should learn to develop this ability ?
  5. Oct 26, 2016 #4


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    Play with Meccano or leggo and learn how to make technical drawings.
  6. Oct 27, 2016 #5

    Randy Beikmann

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    There are several books on machine design and mechanisms that would help out a lot. Some of the classic ones were written by Shigley. Doing a search on Amazon with those as keywords should be a good start. You don't need the latest versions if the older ones are cheaper.
  7. Nov 9, 2016 #6


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    You should disassemble all sorts of mechanical contrivances to see how the parts function as a whole. Preferably broken or unserviceable devices, because then you can endeavour to identify why they ceased operating—and can possibly attempt to repair them. Keep aware of safety considerations, and don't attempt to repair electrical equipment that requires mains power.

    The acquired familiarity with parts and devices will aid their visualisation from drawings.

    Good luck!
  8. Nov 11, 2016 #7


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    Google “Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook” by Neil Sclater.
    There are 3rd, 4th and 5th editions viewable on the web.
    Older editions in .pdf are available on some University Engineering sites.
    If you like what you see you can buy a new or used copy; find it using http://www.bookfinder.com
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