Cam profiles with circular arcs can be useful for low-cost transmissions and for applications in micromachines. They are usually designed by means of graphical techniques. Recently, at Laboratory of Robotics and Mechatronics (LARM) in Cassino, a research line addressed the problems of modern design and characterization of cams with circular-arc profiles by looking at computer-oriented formulations and by investigating experimentally the operation characteristics. In this article, we have given an overview of the results achieved for radial cams and also attempted to extend to a general case that is useful for studying and validating any planar cam profile. The approach is algebraic, because it is based on the geometry of the mechanical design of circular-arc profiles. The experimental analysis has been conceived for a low-cost easy-operation performance of the circular-arc profiles, using a suitable test-bed that has been designed at LARM in Cassino. The results of the experimental tests are useful to validate both the numerical design procedure and the designed cam profiles. Examples are reported to illustrate the practical engineering feasibility of the proposed analysis procedures for radial cams with circular-arc profiles.
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