SAM Features

Design Wizard
SAM offers a set of design wizards which will help you to synthesize mechanisms for specific tasks, such as:
  • Angle function generation (a minimum of 3 pairs of input/output angles are to be satisfied).
  • 3-Position/angle synthesis of the coupler plane.
  • Approximated straight line motion.
  • Exact straight line motion.

SAM is equipped with a large library of basic elements, including:
  • Beam, slider
  • Belt, gear
  • Sensor
  • Spring, damper and friction element (both translation and rotation)
  • Non-linear spring
which allows the analysis of a huge variety of mechanisms. The unique mathematical foundation of the program offers a large number of features and overcomes many of the problems of traditional mechanism programs. Open loop, closed loop and even multiple loop mechanisms are treated in the same way and even the most complex mechanisms, including planetary gear trains, can be modeled within minutes.

The DXF import/export facility lets you export your conceptual mechanism design to any CAD program to work out the details and it lets you import CAD data to easily set-up the mechanism in SAM or to perform animation of the final mechanism.

Input Motion
SAM allows the definition of multiple inputs, which can either be defined in terms of ...
  • Angle input motion: e.g. rotation from a motor
  • Elongation of a beam: e.g. displacement of a hydraulic/pneumatic cylinder
  • Relative angle: e.g. relative rotation of a robot elbow
Each of the inputs can be defined independently. Various frequently used input motion laws are available as follows:
  • Constant velocity
  • Polynomial
  • Cycloid
  • 2nd order velocity profile
  • Cubic splines
Inputs can also be read from an external ASCII file or defined via a table to enable the definition of arbitrary motions. This latter feature is especially handy for the modeling of non-standard cam profiles.

Analysis Results
Once the mechanism has been constructed and the inputs have been defined any of the following kinematic quantities can be calculated (all relative or absolute):

  • Nodal position, displacement, velocity, acceleration
  • Angles, angular velocity and acceleration
Furthermore SAM can perform force-analysis, thus enabling the calculation of:
  • Driving torque (force)
  • Reaction forces in bearings
  • Internal forces in elements
  • Required or transmitted power

Optimization (SAM Professional Only)
The optimization module of SAM Professional offers single-function multi-parameter unconstrained optimization based on a mix of evolutionary algorithms and Simplex techniques.

Taking the initial design/topology as a starting point one can for example further improve the quality in which the trajectory of a coupler point equals the target trajectory by changing the geometry of the mechanism within pre-defined ranges. Or one can minimize the peak or RMS value of the driving torque of a mechanism by adding a compensating mass and let SAM determine the optimal value of the mass and its position within the allowable range.

SAM seeks the optimum by modifying the following properties within user-defined ranges:
  • Geometry of mechanism
  • Element properties, such mass, spring constant, transmission ratio, ...
Watch the following video for more information.