are several different types of cams but most of these
can be placed into two groups, rotary and linear.
Rotary cams change rotary motion into reciprocating
(backwards and forwards) motion. As the cam rotates,
the follower moves accordingly. The exact distance
it moves depends on the shape of the cam.
cams are called "lobed cams" because they
have additions to the circular shape known as lobes.
One complete revolution of the cam is called a cycle.
As the cam rotates there will be one distinct event
per revolution for each lobe. The timing of the events
will depend on the speed of rotation.
have the ability to store information. Another way
to look at cams is as the mechanical version of a
computer program. The information is stored in the
shape of the cam. As the cam turns, the information
is retrieved by the cam follower. The follower tracks
the movement of the cam's profile (shape) and reproduces
the same movement for each cycle. In the case of Maillardet's
Automaton, the series of cams carry out the complex
programs that produce its drawings.
Further - Learn More About Automata and Mechanisms
you are interested in designing your own automata,
or simply understanding the workings of existing automata
more thoroughly, the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre offers
an excellent book entitled Cabaret
Mechanical Movement for sale through their online
Design and Technology Department of Deyes High School,
Deyes Lane, Maghull, Liverpool has published a section
is a mechanism ? on their website which offers
students an in-depth look at the mechanics of movement.