Mechanical Linkages made by Duc Thang Nguyen

This article is originally from Make mag can be found here.

Keeping direction unchanged during rotation
Keeping direction unchanged during rotation

Mr. Duc Thang Nguyen is a retired engineer from Vietnam. Since his retirement in 2002, he has being working on an amazing animated 3D catalog of mechanical contraptions.


Using Autodesk Inventor as a tool, he has documented over 1,700 mechanisms. All from gears, couplings, clutches, differentials to detailed examples of movement conversions. For every mechanism Nguyen has generated a corresponding animated YouTube video. These videos are an invaluable source to understand some of the more convoluted and challenging mechanisms. The video-clips portray a mesmerizing collection of kinetics sculptures on their own and can be enjoyed for their sheer aesthetic value.

Through a file-sharing website, Nguyen generously provides an overview of all his contraptions nicely organized into mechanical themes. The PDF files include pictures, short descriptions, and direct links to the videos. I strongly encourage you to visit Nguyen’s YouTube Channel and spend some time studying his work. You will find a treasure trove of ingenious solutions to a wide range of real life mechanical applications. If you own a 3D printer and want to improve you CAD skills, pick a compelling mechanism. Model and print it.

I’ve attached the 3 files that have descriptions for all of the linkages as well.

Duc Thang Nguyen- Part 1 Mechanical Links– Transmissions of Continuous rotation.

Duc Thang Nguyen- Part 2 Mechanical Links– Other kinds of rotation transmission.

Duc Thang Nguyen- Part 3 Mechanical Links– Mechanism of specific purpose.


Here are some of Ronald’s Favorites (the original author):


Linkage for tracing a parallelogram

Persian joint

Application of rack pinion mechanism

Planetary clutch

Door for limited space

Keeping direction unchanged during rotation

Archimedean drive

Friction cone variator

Internal Geneva mechanism

Converting interrupted rotation to continuous rotation


Mike H.
Hi there,
I am photographer, father, son and ultimate frisbee player.
I've recently switched my career path into Mechanical Engineering.
As someone once said, "What a long, strange trip it's been."