Cams are mechanical devices which are used to generate curvilinear or irregular motion of mechanical elements. They are used to convert rotary motion into oscillatory motion or oscillatory motion into rotary motion. There are two links namely the cam itself which acts as an input member. The other link that acts as an output member is called the follower. The cam transmits the motion to the follower by direct contact. In a cam-follower pair, the cam usually rotates while the follower translates or oscillates. Complicated output motions which are otherwise difficult to achieve can easily be produced with the help of cams. Cams are widely used in internal combustion engines, machine tools, printing control mechanisms, textile weaving industries, automated machines etc.

Necessary elements of a cam mechanism are:

  • A driver member known as the cam.

  • A driven member called the follower.

  • A frame which supports the cam and guides the follower.


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