A Journal of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics by DrD, #45
(c) DrD, 2018
It has been quite a while since I last posted anything here, but an interesting problem has come to mind that I wanted to share with you. If you really know calculus, this should be straight forward; if you don't know calculus, don't even try!
Many of you have asked me various questions, so now it is my turn. Let me lay a bit of background first, and then the questions.
I have had some conversations recently with JAG (one of the other writers here at ME Forums) regarding the choice of software for 3D modeling and analysis. JAG has made some excellent suggestions, specifically a cloud based program called Onshape. Unfortunately, for reasons that are unclear, my computer cannot run Onshape; I have worked with their help peop
A Community Built on False Values
This may well prove to be the least popular thing I ever post on this blog because what I have to say may offend many. I do not say it with the intent to offend, but because I am compelled to give a warning.
One of the most interesting things that has developed from my blog, Mechanics Corner, here on the ME Forum has been the opportunity to correspond directly with a modest number of readers. This has included both young men and young women scattered across In
Many years ago, when I first began to study mechanics, the "conventional wisdom," expressed by both teachers and fellow students, was this: "Statics is easy, Dynamics is hard, and Kinematics -- who bothers to actually study kinematics? Kinematic relations, when needed, simply drop from the sky like rain, but nobody seriously studies kinematics." I eventually found the truth to be a bit more subtle: Statics of structures is generally easy, while the s
Welcome to the first installment of Mechanics Corner, a feature that we hope will become a regular blog item on Mechanical Engineering Forum. The intent is that every week we will have a new article on some aspect of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics, things of broad interest to mechanical engineers. Some of these articles will be fairly elementary, while others will be considerably more advanced, but the idea is to have something for everyone. We will hope to amuse, entertain, and most importan
Where Will I Find A Job??
As I read over the questions that readers post here on ME Forum and elsewhere, I sense a common theme in many of them. There seems to be a wide, dare I say almost universal, concern about where those currently in college will find employment after graduation. To a degree this is entirely understandable; we all wonder what is in our future. Even so, the level of anxiety that I sense in many of your postings strikes me as extraordinarily high. Let us consider this a bit.
The VEProject --- Shifted Levers A Critical Assessment
The subject of this article is the VEProject Shifted Lever video, as found at the following URL:
The video shows a "Shifted Lever" mechanism, a device that appears to be perpetually off balance. It is presented as a perpetual motion mechanism, that is, a machine that will run forever without any energy input other than, perhaps, an initial push. This presentation c
Twenty One Rules for Tech Writing
One of the things that has surprised me about the readers of ME Forum is the number of folk who want to publish technical papers. When I was an undergraduate (a very, very long time ago), publishing papers was the farthest thing from my mind. I knew that publishing was a concern for some of the faculty, but it was certainly no concern of mine! To my even greater amazement, most of those desiring to write want to write in English, even though this
The response here at Mechanical Engineering Forums, or should I say, the lack of response, has left me puzzled. There was a modest response (as indicated by comments) to my first post, but the number of comments has dropped to almost nothing since then. I am only aware of one person who has actually worked on one of the challenge problems that I have posed (but I hope that there are more who have). In the previous poll, there have been a good number of views, but an extremely small number of peo
The following is a verbal description of a Doonesbury cartoon of unknown date by Garry Trudeau. Doonesbury has long been one of America’s major cartoon strips, with a very dry wit and a decidedly left-of-center outlook. I found this today in going through some old files.
SCENE: A college classroom, the teacher lecturing in a rather absent minded fashion, the students silently bent over, taking notes and keeping their heads down.
TEACHER: Of course, in his deliberations on American capi
A Journal of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics by DrD, #47
What Makes a Ship Move?
One of the problems that often confronts engineers is the description of large, interconnected systems. Engineers tend to specialize, so that one is very knowledgeable on gears, another knows bearings, a third knows pumps, but none of them are comfortable with the whole system. In the automotive context, this is often exp
1. Team building is very popular in industry these days, so here is a team building joke.
A group of mathematicians are attending a weekend seminar on team building. During the night, a fire breaks out in the room of one of the mathematicians. He quickly tears pages out of his notes and lights them on fire, one by one. He then runs down the hall, shoving burning sheets of paper under the doors of all the other mathematicians.
In the morning, after the building is burnt to the ground, the fire
A Journal of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics by DrD, # 35
Machinery Dynamics Research, 2017
Good News --- Bad News
Rolling Disk in a Rolling Ring
Well, it looks like Mechanics Corner is back, at least in terms of an occasional post. It will probably be less frequent than previously, but there are just too many interesting things to talk about to remain entirely silent! The title for this post may leave you wondering wh
A Journal of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics by DrD, #43
(c) Machinery Dynamics Research, 2017
Four-Bar / Toggle Linkage Mechanism
I believe that it would be correct to say that all of the single degree of freedom mechanisms that I have discussed on ME Forums have involved only a single loop. This might lead a reader to conclude that a single degree of freedom implies only a single loop, and vice versa, that a single loop imp
A Journal of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics by DrD, # 31
Machinery Dynamics Research, 2016
ODE Solution --- Fail!!
Digital computation has become a major tool for engineers, and it is a great benefit. It can also lead to many pitfalls for the unwary. This note is about the latter, a potential pitfall that many engineers risk on a daily basis, most of them with little awareness of the danger.
Early in the developme
You have probably heard of Engineering Econ, Engineering Management, etc., but what about Engineering Philosophy?
Most of the time, in engineering discussions we talk about “hard information,” that is, facts, ideas, and methods for doing various engineering activities. But behind all that, guiding it, there needs to be a correct philosop