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FLAT PLATE CAM / LINEAR CAM

V. Ryan © 2006 - 2009

 

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The diagram below shows a basic example of a flat plate cam / linear cam. As the flat plate cam profile moves to the left the follower moves up and down, matching the shape of the profile. The flat plate cam then reverses in the opposite direction and the follower drops and rises again.
 

   
   

A more sophisticated example of a flat plate / linear cam is shown below. The follower  is unusual because it has a roller / wheel to help the smooth movement of the flat profile cam and follower. It also has a ‘return spring’ that pushes the follower against the profile, ensuring that it always runs against it and follows the shape precisely.

   

 

 

The machine seen below is a mechanical paper punch. As the lever is pushed down a gear system (called a rack and pinion) moves the flat plate profile to the left. In turn this pushes down the followers which punch two holes in a piece of paper / card.

The edge of the flat plate cam can be shaped to give different vertical movements of the cam follower. Flat plate / linear cams are used frequently in machines that carry out the same repetitive movements.

   

QUESTIONS:
1. How could you used a flat plate / linear cam in a toy project ? Draw a simple design and add notes to explain your idea.

   
 
   
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