Creative Mechanism Design

Course Chinese title: 創意性機構設計
Course Number: ME5213701
Credits: 3
Taught level: Graduates & 4th-year undergraduates
Lecturer: Dr. Chin-Hsing Kuo (郭進星博士)
E-learning website: (university intranet only)
Course Facebook page

Course Description


This course aims to teach students a series of engineering creative methods and a systematic creative mechanism design approach. The content focuses on the systematic structural synthesis of mechanisms in major and the kinematic synthesis of linkage mechanisms in partial. This course is taught in part by the industrial experts who will introduce the creative mechanism design practices in real industrial problems. This course is particularly contributive to those postgraduate and undergraduate students who are or will be embarking research on mechanism design or its related disciplines.

Course Objectives


  • 有效地結合創意以及機構與工程設計中的專門理論,進行新型機構之創意設計或現有機構之改良設計。
  • 具有連桿機構尺度合成之基礎概念

Based upon the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • incorporate their creativity and mechanism and engineering design knowledge to create novel mechanisms, improve existing mechanisms, and analyze their created or improved designs
  • have the fundamental knowledge of kinematic synthesis of linkage mechanisms

Course Contents

  • What are “mechanism”, “mechanism design”, and “engineering design”? (何謂「機構」、「機構設計」、與「工程設計」?)
  • “Creativity” and “Innovation” (「創意」與「創新」)
  • Engineering creativity (工程創造力)
  • Engineering creative techniques (工程創意技法)
  • Creative mechanism design methods (創意性機構設計方法)
  • Introduction to dimensional synthesis of linkages (連桿組尺度合成概論)
  • Creative Mechanism Design Practices (創意機構設計實務)
  • Design projects (設計專題)

Course Tentative Schedule (Fall 2012)

Week Date Course content Notes
1 09/20 Course overview;
Introduction to creative mechanism design
Yan, Chap. 1
HW1: Visit of INST 2012
Lecture note
2 09/27 Engineering creative techniques;
Fundamentals of mechanisms
Yan, Chaps. 2, 4, & 5
Lecture notes 1, 2
HW1 due Sept 26 (Facebook)
3 10/04 Fundamentals of mechanisms;
Fundamental of graph theory
Yan, Chap. 2
Tsai, Chap. 2
Lecture notes
HW2: 1st reading assignment
4 10/11 Structural representations of mechanisms;
Structural analysis of mechanisms
Tsai, Chaps. 3 & 4
Lecture notes: 1, 2
Hangout: 1, 2
Project topic confirmation due Oct 10
5 10/18 Structural synthesis of mechanisms;
Overview of a creative mechanism design method
Sandor & Erdman, Sec. 2.3
Yan, Chap. 6
Lecture notes: 1, 2
6 10/25 Generalization Yan, Chap. 7
Lecture notes
HW3: Generalization
Oral presentation (HW2)
7 11/01 Number synthesis Yan, Chaps. 8 & 9
Lecture notes
Oral presentation (HW2)
8 11/08 Specialization Yan, Chap. 10
Lecture notes
HW4: Specialization
Oral presentation (HW2)
9 11/15 Creative design examples Yan, Chaps. 11 & 12
Lecture notes
HW5: 2nd reading assignment
10 11/22 Project proposal presentation
11 11/29 HW Presentation: Generalization in Practical Design Oral presentation (HW3)
HW4 due Nov 29
12 12/06 Introduction to dimensional synthesis of linkages
Dyad equations
Sandor & Erdman, Chap. 2
Lecture notes
13 12/13 Numbers of prescribed positions and free choices
Linearity of the set of equations
Sandor & Erdman, Chap. 2
Oral presentation (HW5)
14 12/20 Freudenstein’s equation
Synthesis of multiloop mechanisms
Sandor & Erdman, Chap. 2
HW6: Dimensional synthesis of linkages
Oral presentation (HW5)
15 12/27 Cognate mechanisms Video
Oral presentation (HW5)
16 01/03
Creative Mechanism Design in Industry

17 01/10 Project presentation Project reports due Jan 10
18 01/17 Project presentation HW6 due Jan 17


  • Yan, H.-S., 1999, Creative Design of Mechanical Devices, Springer, Singapore.
    中譯本:顏鴻森 著,2006,機械裝置的創意性設計,東華書局,台北。
Yan - Creative Design of Mechanical Devices
顏鴻森 - 機械裝置的創意性設計

Reference Books

  • Tsai, L.-W., 2001, Mechanism Design: Enumeration of Kinematic Structures According to Function, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Sandor, G. N. and Erdman, A. G., 1984, Advanced Mechanism Design: Analysis and Synthesis, Vol. 2, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
  • 許正和,2006,創造性機構設計學,高立圖書,台北。
Tsai - Mechanism Design
Sandor & Erdman - Advanced Mechanism Design
許正和 - 創造性機構設計學

Grading Plan

  • Homework: 35%
  • Proposal presentation: 15%
  • Project report & presentation: 40%
  • Attendance: 10% (presentation peer-evaluation & class Q&A)

Lecture Notes & Hangout

Lecture Notes (Password required)

Lecture Hangout (Password required)

Teaching-Aided Videos

Reading List

Nature of Design

  • Yan, H. S., “What is Design? (in Chinese)” Proceedings of the 9th National Conference of the Chinese Society of Mechanical Engineers, Kaoshung, Taiwan, November 27-28, 1992, pp. 1-5.PDF

Structural Synthesis of Mechanisms

  • Buesseler, R. K., Hom, D. B., Erdman, A. G., “Novel Stapling Method and Device for Nasal Surgery,” ASME Journal of Medical Devices, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2009, pp. 041007(1-6).PDF
  • Freudenstein, F. and Maki, E. R., “The Creation of Mechanisms According to Kinematic Structure and Function,” Environment and Planning B, Vol. 6, 1979, pp. 375-391.PDF
  • Freudenstein, F. and Maki, E. R., “Development of an Optimum Variable-Stroke Internal-Combustion Engine Mechanism From the Viewpoint of Kinematic Structure,” ASME Journal of Mechanisms Transmissions and Automation in Design, Vol. 105, No. 2, 1983, pp. 259-266.PDF
  • Hsu, C. H., “Enumeration of Basic Kinematic Chains with Simple and Multiple Joints,” Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 329, No., 4, 1992, pp. 775-789.PDF
  • Huang, M. and Soni, A. H., “Application of Linear and Nonlinear Graphs in Structural Synthesis of Kinematic Chains,” ASME Journal of Engineering Industry, Vol. 95, 1973, pp. 525-532.PDF
  • Johnson, R. C. and Towfigh, K., “Creative Design of Epicyclic Gear Trains Using Number Synthesis,” ASME Journal of Engineering Industry, Vol. 89, 1967, pp. 309-314.PDF
  • Lee, J. J. and Tsai, L. W., “The Structural Synthesis of Tendon-Driven Manipulators Having a Pseudotriangular Structure Matrix,” The International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1991, pp. 255-262.PDF
  • Lim, J. J. B. and Erdman, A. G., “Application of Type Synthesis Theory to the Redesign of a Complex Surgical Instrument,” ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Vol. 124, No. 3., 2002, pp. 265-272.PDF
  • Lu, Y., Lu, Y., Ye, N., Mao, B., Han, J., and Sui, C., “Derivation of Valid Contracted Graphs from Simpler Contracted Graphs for Type Synthesis of Closed Mechanisms,” Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 52, 2012, pp. 206-218. PDF
  • Sohn, W. J. and Freudenstein, F., “An Application of Dual Graphs to the Automatic Generation of the Kinematic Structures of Mechanisms,” ASME Journal of Mechanisms Transmissions and Automation in Design, Vol. 108, No. 3, 1986, pp. 392-398.PDF
  • Woo, L. S., “Type Synthesis of Planar Linkages,” ASME Journal of Engineering Industry, Vol. 89, 1967, pp. 159-172.PDF

Structural Analysis of Mechanisms

  • Cubillo, J. P. and Wan, J., “Comments on Mechanism Kinematic Chain Isomorphism Identification Using Adjacent Matrices,” Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2005, pp. 131-139.PDF
  • Ding, H. and Huang, Z., “A New Theory for the Topological Structure Analysis of Kinematic Chains and Its Applications,” Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 42, No. 10, 2007, pp. 1264-1279. PDF
  • Dobrjanskyj, L. and Freudenstein, F., “Some Application of Graph Theory to the Structural Analysis of Mechanisms,” ASME Journal of Engineering for Industry, Vol. 89, 1967, pp. 153-158.PDF
  • Freudenstein, F., “An Application of Boolean Algebra to the Motion of Epicyclic Drives,” ASME Journal of Engineering for Industry, Vol. 93, No. 1, 1971, pp. 176-182.PDF
  • Hwang, W. M. and Hwang, Y. W., “An Algorithm for the Detection of Degenerate Kinematic Chains,” Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Vol. 15, No. 12, 1991, pp. 9-15.PDF
  • Kong, F. G., Li, Q., Zhang, W. J., “An Artificial Neural Network Approach to Mechanism Kinematic Chain Isomorphism Identification,” Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1999, pp. 271-283.PDF
  • Olson, D. G., Erdman, A. G., and Riley, D. R., “Topological Analysis of Single-Degree-of-Freedom Planetary Gear Trains,” ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 113, No. 1, 1991, pp. 10-16.PDF
  • Rao, A. C., “A Genetic Algorithm for Topological Characteristics of Kinematic Chains,” ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 122, No. 2, 2000, pp. 288-291.PDF
  • Sunkari, R. P. and Schmidt, L. C., “Reliability and Efficiency of the Existing Spectral Methods for Isomorphism Detection,” ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 128, No. 6, 2006, pp. 1246-1252. PDF
  • Tsai, L.-W., Chen, D.-Z., and Lin, T.-W., “Dynamic Analysis of Geared Robotic Mechanisms Using Graph Theory,” ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 120, No. 2, 1998, pp. 240-244. PDF
  • Yan, H. S. and Hwang, W. M., “Linkage Path Code,” Mechanism and Machine Theory, Vol. 19, Nos. 4/5, 1984, pp. 425-429.PDF

Project & Homework