Should I start calling it “The Linkage App?”

I’m toying with the idea of having a linear input feature. A few people pointed out the difficulty in creating a linear motion base using the software’s linear actuators. The linear actuators are similar to hydraulic cylinders and are connected to two elements that are moved closer together or further apart using the actuator; They are not as handy when designing things like a motorized X-Y table or any other sort of table or carriage-based movement platform.

Linear Input Using a Sliding Connector

Above is a picture of a sliding connector that is a linear input element (once implemented). The sliding connector will have a CPM setting (Cycles per Minute) and will move along the wider lighter line along the slide path. Like an existing linear actuator, the distance of travel can be adjusted using the little circle control knobs once the connector is selected. The first version of this feature might only have the slide path without an adjustment for the offsets from the ends of that path. This won’t be enabled for curves slide paths or cams because curved slide paths are circular and movement can already be done using a rotating input connector, and movement along a cam is just too dang hard to calculate (requiring iterative stepping along tiny segments of the splines to find semi-accurate position information).

So this, along with possible geneva mechanisms and new control knobs added to other types of inputs, will be in the next release of the Linkage software.