Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook

Now Available as Both a Hardbound Book and as an E-book

Author: Robert L. Norton, Milton P. Higgins II Distinguished Professor Emeritus Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Publisher: Norton Associates LLC
Copyright 2020, 626 pp.
ISBN 978-1-64921-838-4 (Hardbound)
ISBN 978-1-64970-629-4 (E-book)

The third edition of Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook brings together the latest cam design technology, proper cam design methods and manufacturing procedures, and cam research results in one volume that is indispensable to the design, analysis, and manufacturing of cam-follower systems.  Much of the material is original and based on 30 years of cam research involving many of the author’s graduate students whose theses were advised by the author and on papers published in professional journals.  It covers treatments of shape-preserving and B-splines for cams, calculations of 3-D globoidal cams, modeling of multi-DOF cam systems, calculation of torque-compensation cams that can zero the net inertial torque on a cam system’s camshaft, and equations to model the deliberate impact of a follower against a valve seat or hard-stop.  This third edition adds a new chapter on servo-driven mechanisms.  The mathematics to program servo drives is the same as that for cam motions, though there are other pitfalls, which are discussed in this chapter.  Covering both introductory and advanced topics in depth, this comprehensive handbook provides all the information you need to properly design, model, analyze, specify, and manufacture cam-follower systems including:

  • Proper Cam Design Techniques
  • Polydyne and Splinedyne Cams
  • Single- and Multi-Dwell Cams
  • Classical Cam Functions
  • Polynomial and Spline Cams
  • Conjugate Cams
  • Pressure Angle and Radius of Curvature
  • Radial, Barrel, and Linear Cams
  • Roller and Flat Followers
  • Translating and Oscillating Followers
  • Measuring Cam-Follower Dynamics
  • Residual Vibrations
  • Forward and Inverse Dynamic Analysis
  • Lubrication of the Cam-Follower Joint
  • Case Studies of Cam Designs
  • An Extensive Bibliography on Cams

This book takes the subject from an introductory level through advanced topics needed to properly design, model, analyze, specify, and manufacture cam-follower systems. Beginning with a description of “how not to design a cam” in order to point out pitfalls that may not be obvious to the beginner, the proper way to design a cam for multiple and single-dwell situations is developed in detail. All the acceptable (and some unacceptable) classical cam functions are described and their mathematics defined for the “standard” and common double-dwell applications.

Polynomial functions are introduced and used for both double and single-dwell examples. Problems with polynomial cams are defined in detail and ways to design around these problems are discussed. Spline functions are introduced as a class of cam functions that can solve the most difficult cam design problems. Many examples are developed to show how splines can solve otherwise intractable cam design problems.

The issues of cam pressure angle and radius of curvature are fully addressed for various types of cams and followers: radial, barrel, and globoidal cams, with translating and oscillating followers. The dynamics of the cam-follower system are introduced along with techniques for modeling the system as lumped parameters. Both the inverse dynamic (kinetostatic) and forward dynamic solutions are developed for a multiplicity of models of various degrees of freedom. The extensive literature on these topics is referenced in the bibliography. Residual vibrations in the follower train are addressed along with a number of cam functions that can reduce the level of vibration. Polydyne and splinedyne cams are defined and methods for their calculation described.

Stress analysis of the cam-follower joint is presented in detail along with methods to determine the failure modes of typical cam/follower materials in surface contact under time-varying loads. Lubrication of the cam-follower interface is also addressed as is wear.

Modern cam manufacturing methods are described and compared to historical ones. Methods for the measurement of cam dynamic phenomena are described and examples presented. Case studies of automotive and industrial cam-follower designs are described. The book concludes with a chapter on practical cam design considerations. A discount coupon for purchase of the Professional Edition of the author’s cam design program Dynacam Plus is included.

From the Foreword:

“Professor Norton’s newest book, Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook, is the most comprehensive work we know of on a subject that is so important to machine design. From cover to cover, the book provides valuable information for both students and practicing engineers. It is a complete work, ranging from the basics of cam design and manufacture to advanced topics such as spline functions and vibration analysis.” Thomas J. Lyden, Vice President, The Gillette Company.

From a review in the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design:

“Norton’s “Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook” is an essential and valuable tool for any engineer who is engaged in the design of cam systems or motion development for servo devices. The material is presented so that the reader can develop a real understanding of cam and motion technology. The availability of the “Dynacam Professional” computer application permits those engineers engaged in cam design easy access to the implementation of the handbook’s methods.”

Dennis L. Klipp, Principal Engineer, D. L. Klipp Engineering.

From reviews on  (Has 5 stars)

“Comprehensive and easy to read. It’s good reference book for people involved in cam design.”

“The most comprehensive text on cam design I have seen printed in 20 years. A definite “must buy” for anyone involved with cams.”

“This is a very well written and easy to understand text for a topic as complex as cams. The only thing I missed was coverage of how to skew rise or fall inflection points away from of 50%. That’s a small detail considering the depth of the mathematics that was covered. If I could only have one cam book, this one would be it.”

“I’m a consulting engineer and only knew cams thanks to the rudiments of the college era. The book is well done, well structured, and tidy. There are considerable amounts of information, unknown to those who do not deal with the topic. I recommend it to those who have to learn how cams are made, but also to those who have to study drives and motorcycle laws.”

“Very short review: it is a very good book and it is worth the money it costs.
It is very good as academic book and as manual of work. Are not too many books that talk about this topic and this one is certainly one of the best.”