Design and analysis are two vital tasks in engineering.
Design process means the synthesis during the proposal phase the size, shape, material
properties and arrangements of the parts are prescribed in order to fulfil the required task.
Analysis is a technique or rather set of tools allowing critical evaluation of existing or proposed
design in order to judge its suitability for the task.
Thus synthesis is a goal that can be reached via analysis.
Mechanical engineer deals with many different tasks that are in conjunction to diverse working
processes referred to as a technological process.
Technological processes involve transportation of material, generation and transformation of
energy, transportation of information. All these processes require mechanical motion, which is
carried out by machines.
To be able to create appropriate design of machine and mechanism the investigation of relation
between the geometry and motion of the parts of a machine/mechanism and the forces that cause
the motion has to be carried out. Thus the mechanics as a science is involved in the design process.
Mechanics represents the science that includes Statics, Dynamics, and Mechanics of Materials.
Statics provides analysis of stationary systems while Dynamics deals with systems that change
with time and as Euler suggested the investigation of motion of a rigid body may be separated into
two parts, the geometrical part and the mechanical part. Within the geometrical part Kinematics
the transference of the body from one position to the other is investigated without respect to the
causes of the motion. The change is represented by analytical formulae.
Thus Kinematics is a study of motion apart from the forces producing the motion that is
described by position, displacement, rotation, speed, velocity, and acceleration.
In Kinematics we assume that all bodies under the investigation are rigid bodies thus their
deformation is negligible, and does not play important role, and the only change that is considered
in this case is the change in the position.
Terminology that we use has a precise meaning as all the words we use to express ourselves
while communicating with each other. To make sure that we do understand the meaning we have a
thesaurus/glossary available. It is useful to clarify certain terms especially in areas where the
terminology is not very clear.
Structure represents the combination of rigid bodies connected together by joints with intention
to be rigid. Therefore the structure does not do work or transforms the motion. Structure can be
moved from place to place but it does not have an internal mobility (no relative motion between its
Machines & Mechanisms – their purpose is to utilize relative internal motion in transmitting
power or transforming motion.
Machine – device used to alter, transmit, and direct forces to accomplish a specific objective.
Mechanism – the mechanical portion of a machine that has the function of transferring motion
and forces from power source to an output. Mechanism transmits motion from drive or input link
to the follower or the output link.