Gears and Cams.html

Changing Direction. This topic includes a number of mechanical models coming out of the Renaissance by Renaissance engineers including Leonardo Da Vinci. The point of the videos and models is to see these simple mechanical innovations in motion and to try to make sense of  how these machines would be put to use. Each example is less than a minute long so play them a couple of times and see if you can get your brain around how innovative these things were. The last one is a simple animation of a typical 4 stroke engine. It's a bit more complicated but it's interesting to see how everything works together.

The gear and cam unlocked the potential of rotary power. In a nutshell, a gear is used to do four things:

  1. To increase or decrease the speed of rotation
  2. To move rotational motion to a different axis

Consider this model of a water wheel that rotates horizontally at the power source but rotates a vertical axel to turn the mill stones.