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Engineering, Precision Machine Design, SolidWorks Service, Training

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 Precision Mechanics

by David Kittell

The little blue book

Now available again as an in-house course!

Understanding of these basic kinematic concepts will unleash your machine design understanding.


David Kittell, the father of the discipline, Precision Mechanics, shares the foundation of this science with you in his highly practical and fun to read book, Precision Mechanics.  Based on his highly acclaimed course by the same name, first taught at the Perkin-Elmer Technical institute in Norwalk, Connecticut, and later as a short course offered in such places as Bell Labs, SPIE, IEEE, NASA, and several national labs, you will find this book relevant and immediately useful.


Precision Mechanics, offers you insight into:

·        What makes a machine stable enough to measure angstroms, but made with parts made in a regular machine shop with common tolerances and materials (mostly). 

·        How these same principals help your bolts stay tight in vibrating machines

·        Ways to make your adjustments stay where you put them, without lots of expensive parts.

·        Why flexure bearings are often at an advantage over pivots.

This book is offered for $34.95 plus shipping.  56 pages, spiral bound to lay flat.


Title Page Mouse Over for Page Previews

Table of Contents

Introductory Dialog 1

Rigid Body Mechanics 6

Flexure Kinematics 12

Rolling Kinematics 21

Adjustments 22

Holders, Clamps and Locks 32

Structures 40

Configuration 44

Sensors 51

About the author:

David Kittell, Founder and President of Sage Systems, was a designer and builder of precision instruments and machines for more than 30 years. During his early career, he worked on high performance optical drum scanners for Time, Inc., contributing to many innovations to the field. He was the architect of the computer controlled polisher used to polish the now infamous Hubble Space Telescope mirrors. He was recently a principal scientist with Hughes Danbury Optical Systems in Connecticut, doing work on deformable mirrors and adaptive optics. He held an engineering degree from the University of Connecticut.

$38.00 per copy

 Who is this book for?  Precision Mechanics is for engineers and technicians, for machine designers and machinists,  managers and mechanics.

What do I need to know to benefit from this great bookThis book will be of interest to people with a technical interest in the design and building of machines.  Some familiarity with these things is helpful for context.

What practical benefits can I expect from Precision MechanicsYou can expect to have a more complete understanding of what makes a machine stable.  You will understand the concepts of degrees of freedom and understand why 6 of them are the magic number.

What if I don't like it?The chances are so low that you won't like your book, that we will give you a full refund plus your shipping if you mention this guarantee! (No one has ever asked for a refund yet.)

  People have "the little blue book" open on their desk long after the first read.

Precision Mechanics - The short course


Now being offered again as a three day course based upon the original courses and taught by his long trained son.

Precision Mechanics Course Outline OBJECTIVES: To provide participants with practical techniques and approaches for the engineering design of instruments and precision devices.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Engineers, scientists, technicians, machinists, or anyone who needs to create instruments, mechanisms, mounts, fixtures, adjusting, or supporting devices with precision performance requirements.

COURSE OUTLINE: The course begins with the concept of kinematic design and then addresses how to create practical elements for kinematic mounts. It goes on to discuss flexures for small displacements and rotations, wire flexures for 5 DOF coupling, methods for precision adjustments, holding, clamping and locking methods, considerations in supporting structures, their stiffness, vibration, and damping, stick-slip, Hertzian contact stresses, stability over time and temperature, and many examples that show how these methods can be integrated to achieve a desired result. Model shop and experimental lab techniques are often referenced. Intuitive understanding of fundamental principles is emphasized. Measurement components and application to the sub-micron world are discussed.

 Instructor: Jake Kittell, The Principal Engineer at Happiness Tech LLC has been designing and building precision machines and robots for 20+ years and holds an engineering degree from the University of Connecticut.

Day 1 Introduction What is precision mechanics? What are we trying to do? Units, particular challenges, Opportunities Rigid body Kinematics Kinematic relationships, degrees of freedom, stability, practical applications Flexure Kinematics What flexures are, pros and cons, degrees of freedom, practical applications

Day 2

Rolling Kinematics Rolling element bearings, kinematic relationships, stability, repeatability Adjustments Feedback, precision, accuracy and stability, interdependence and arrangement. Resolution vs. range. Practical applications Holders, Clamps and Locks Considerations for stability, practical applications. Screws, the fine details.

Day 3

Structures Holding it all together, relationships, stiffness, stability, resonance, Q. Configurations Mechanisms, precision mechanics in practice, considerations, degrees of freedom. Sensors, Actuators and Control Selection, sources of error, Range, resolution, target, linearity, location, dynamic range, stability.

  Please inquire for available dates and pricing to have this course at your facility.