Model: S08 Reuleaux Straight-line Mechanism
In the late 18th century, James Watt made four key improvements to the steam engine, one of which was a linkage mechanism that created an approximate straight line motion to move the steam engine piston. For more than 80 years, engineers and mathematicians invented numerous mechanisms to approximately draw straight lines. The design in model S-8 is by Franz Reuleaux and is based on a double slider mechanism for which the two prismatic guides are not at right angles. There are four essential links in this mechanism consisting of two sliders, one coupler link that traces the curve, and the stationary link containing the two guides. However, it was a French engineer named Peaucellier who in 1864 discovered an exact straight-line device that required eight links. (See Model S-35)

Francis Moon 2004-11-15

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