This article is originally from Make mag can be found here.
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
Application of rack pinion mechanism
Door for limited space
Keeping direction unchanged during rotation
Friction cone variator
Internal Geneva mechanism
Converting interrupted rotation to continuous rotation