A generalized accuracy performance synthesis methodology for planar closed chain mechanisms is proposed. The relationship between the sensitivity to variations of link lengths and the location of the moving pivots of four-link mechanisms is investigated for the particular objective of three and four position synthesis. In the three design positions case, sensitivity maps with isosensitivity curves plotted in the design solution space allow the designer to synthesize a planar mechanism with desired sensitivity value, or to optimize sensitivity from a set of acceptable design solutions. In the case of four design positions, segments of the Burmester design curves that exhibit specified sensitivity to link length tolerance are identified. A performance sensitivity criterion is used as a convenient and a useful way of discriminating between many possible solutions to a given synthesis problem.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank the National Science Foundation for their support of this work under Grant No. MSS-9012456. Thanks also to Jennifer Ennen, Tim Rodgers and Bo Hong for preparation of the manuscript.