Cams act like small computers which store information that can be turned into movement. They can be very simple or complex and the only limitation is their size. Cams normally work in conjunction with a "Cam Follower". As the name implies this follows the movement of the Cam and transfers the movement to the working area. The Cam follower is normally a rod made of wood or metal which is supported by a shaft that limits the movement and direction. The Cam follower is designed with a smooth end that can easily follow the Cams movement. This is a very important as the Cam and follower will jam if not properly designed.
The Basic principle
of the Cam is to turn a circular motion in to one that moves up and down.
This is referred to as reciprocating movement.
In automata this is very
useful and is probably the most commonly used mechanical action.
As you will see, the Cam is simple to make and very versatile.
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