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Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook, 4th Edition

It's Love!

Though I like my 4-volume set Ingenious Mechanisms for Designers and Inventors, I like this book even better. I am man enough to admit that I fell deeply in love with this book the moment I opened it in a bookstore one day. I resisted buying it, but not for long.

Short and Sweet

My interest in mechanical devices does not typically involve elaborate multi-stage industrial machines. Rather, in the course of building an automaton I will come upon a design challenge that is limited in scope: How do I convert this motion into that motion? I wonder how one might use a gear here?

There are typically any number of potential solutions. This book gives you a great reference tool to explore your options. I find that by browsing this book, my brain is jogged into finding a solution, even if it does not come directly from the book.

Great Graphics

I'm one of those visual learners. This book is ideal for me. The text in this book accompanies a very nice graphic or two. It's concise; that means I'll actually read it rather than just skim over it.

The images in this book use a combination of line art and greyscale tones. This subtle difference really makes the images easier to decipher.

Easy to Use

My favorite method of searching through a book of this sort is to leaf through the pages randomly. However, I should point out that is book has both an excellent table of contents and a full index. (You can see the entire index at if you click on the 'Look inside this book' link above the book cover image.)

In Sum, Highly Recommended

This book is really, really, good. I know it's a little pricey, but it is pretty cheap as engineering textbooks go.

Use this link to check out Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook at

*Note: This review was written about the 3rd edition, though I have updated the links to go to the 4th edition because it has been improved and is priced better!

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