Archive for the ‘Kinematic Design’ Category


Meet our new product: Control Loading System Linkage for a Helicopter Flight Simulator

We have recently developed, maufactured and delivered Control Loading System (CLS) Linkages for use in a Helicopter Flight Simulator. The linkages have been designed to meet specific needs of the customer, to mimic the functionality and the looks of the original Helicopter Linkages. They are stiff and light-weight and designed for a maximum Push-Pull load of 4 kN.

Vectioneer Control Loading Linkage

Control Loading System Linkages in a Flight Simulator are used to link the Pilot Controls, like Sticks and Pedals to the Control Loading Actuators, that simulate the control forces generated by the Aircraft Dynamics. The mechanism in general is very complex with multiple push-pull rods interconnected through levers and cranks.

The linkages can be produced with any type of Metric, UN or exotic Threaded Connections, Male or Female, to interface to the original controls mechanisms.
The standard Linkages are produced from high-tensile strength aluminium, but optionally carbon-fiber tubing can be used to save even more weight. This is made possible due to the special glueing technique that we have developed and tested. We have used the testing facilities at our Campus location of the RWTH University in Aachen, Germany, to test the design and the manufacturing procedure. The maximum tensile strength actually could not been determined, because the bolts that we used to hook the rods into the test-bench yielded before any part of the linkage itself showed any sign of give. The test was stopped at a tensile force of 14 kN!

Testing the tensile strength of the linkage prototype

We will post more images of the Linkages soon, after they have been integrated into the Helicopter Flight Simulator by our customer.

If you would like to know more about Control Loading Linkages for your application, please contact us.

Vectioneer Motion System Design Software

Motion System Design Software

Here are some more details on our motion system design software. Vectioneer presented the current status at last week’s Blender Conference.

Below you can see a screencast of the use of our new Motion System Design software. Our in-house developed simulation software is extended with a Blender frontend for easy user interaction.
With the software it is possible to intuitively design any parallel mechanism. The software calculates important system metrics on the fly, so it becomes very easy for the designer to optimize the design.

The video shows how the parameters of a Hexapod System, such as joint locations and payload center of gravity location, are changed to arrive at an asymmetric Hexapod design. At the end a detailed report is generated describing the system design and the requirements for all subsystems such as gearboxes, servomotors, joints, worst case forces.

The video below shows an animation of 3DOF motion system design, where the system is put in a certain pose when the brakes on the actuators are released and the system freefalls to a steady state. All system dynamics are modelled including payload and drive system inertias and coulomb friction.

Motion Design Software

Sneak peek: our in-house developed Motion System Design Software

Vectioneer has developed a revolutionary intuitive design tool to design parallel mechanisms such as Hexapod or Crank Driven Motion Systems. The algorithms that provide the kinematic and dynamic modeling are written completely from scratch and are implemented in Python 3. The software allows to change designs very quickly and calculate system performance and component specifications on the fly. This way it is possible to show the effect of design changes in real-time.

Using this dedicated software the design process is much more efficient than using regular CAD packages to model and simulate the system in. We can provide our customers with a new motion design in mere hours, including a complete report of all the kinematic and dynamic requirements on the system components, such as maximum servo motor torques and velocities, average power consumption, worst case forces, maximum joint angles, motion enveloppe drawings, etc.

Although largely complete, the software is still under heavy development to add more features such as genetic algorithms to search for optimal mechanism solutions automatically.

For the user interface we use our favorite free software, Blender, which turned out to be perfect for the job. It provides a fast and stable platform and has an excellent interface to our own Python code. As an extra it can render amazingly realistic pictures and animations of our designs to impress our customers with.

The software is not for sale, but is used to design new custom motion systems for our customers.

Please contact us for more information.