Cams are used to convert rotary motion into reciprocating motion. The motion created can be simple and regular or complex and irregular. As the cam turns, driven by the circular motion, the cam follower traces the surface of the cam transmitting its motion to the required mechanism.
Cam follower design is important in the way the profile of the cam is followed. A fine pointed follower will more accurately trace the outline of the cam. This more accurate movement is at the expense of the strength of the cam follower.
As the cam turns it has a tendency to push the cam follower to one side. To overcome this a separate cam follower and push rod can be used as in this mechanism. Here the cam follower drags over the cam surface, accurately tracing the surface of the cam. Any movement of the cam follower is transferred directly to the push rod
Find out more about cams by making your own cam model. Download and make the interchangeable cam kit; use it try out the movement created with the different cam profiles included in the kit. You can also experiment with your own profiles using the blank cams provided. Members can download the kit for free.
Download and make the Agreeable Sheep for free and find out how cams work first hand!