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History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23

Kuo-Hung Hsiao
Hong-Sen Yan

Mechanisms in
Ancient Chinese
Books with
Illustrations
History of Mechanism and Machine Science

Volume 23

Series editor
Marco Ceccarelli
Cassino
Italy

For further volumes:


http://www.springer.com/series/7481
Aims and Scope of the Series

This book series aims to establish a well defined forum for Monographs and
Proceedings on the History of Mechanism and Machine Science (MMS). The
series publishes works that give an overview of the historical developments, from
the earliest times up to and including the recent past, of MMS in all its technical
aspects.
This technical approach is an essential characteristic of the series. By discussing
technical details and formulations and even reformulating those in terms of
modern formalisms the possibility is created not only to track the historical
technical developments but also to use past experiences in technical teaching and
research today. In order to do so, the emphasis must be on technical aspects rather
than a purely historical focus, although the latter has its place too.
Furthermore, the series will consider the republication of out-of-print older
works with English translation and comments.
The book series is intended to collect technical views on historical develop-
ments of the broad field of MMS in a unique frame that can be seen in its totality as
an Encyclopaedia of the History of MMS but with the additional purpose of
archiving and teaching the History of MMS. Therefore the book series is intended
not only for researchers of the History of Engineering but also for professionals
and students who are interested in obtaining a clear perspective of the past for their
future technical works. The books will be written in general by engineers but not
only for engineers.
Prospective authors and editors can contact the series editor, Professor
M. Ceccarelli, about future publications within the series at:

LARM: Laboratory of Robotics and Mechatronics


DiMSAT—University of Cassino
Via Di Biasio 43, 03043 Cassino (Fr)
Italy
email: ceccarelli@unicas.it
For further volumes: http://www.springer.com/series/7481
Kuo-Hung Hsiao Hong-Sen Yan

Mechanisms in Ancient
Chinese Books with
Illustrations

123
Kuo-Hung Hsiao Hong-Sen Yan
Collections and Research Division Department of Mechanical Engineering
National Science and Technology Museum National Cheng Kung University
Kaohsiung Tainan
Taiwan Taiwan

ISSN 1875-3442 ISSN 1875-3426 (electronic)


ISBN 978-3-319-02008-2 ISBN 978-3-319-02009-9 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9
Springer Cham Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013947357

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014


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Preface

There were several books with mechanical illustrations that described ingenious
inventions and production technologies in ancient China. These books had pro-
vided significant research and reference values of the technological standards in
the subjects’ time periods. However, there is a problem that mechanisms in the
literature are unclear due to incomplete interpretation and/or vague drafting. Some
ancient mechanisms can only reflect the approximate shapes but the actual motion
transmission processes along with mechanism structures are uncertain. This causes
a great difficulty for the reader to access and understand the development of
technology from the original illustrations.
This work presents a unique approach to study mechanisms and machines with
illustrations that were depicted confusedly in major ancient Chinese books. His-
torical background and structural characteristics of ancient mechanisms are stud-
ied. By utilizing the methodology for the conceptual design of modern
mechanisms and reconstruction designs of lost ancient machinery, all feasible
designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members and joints that meet the
technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are synthesized systematically.
Ancient Chinese crossbows (original and repeating crossbows), textile mecha-
nisms (silk-reeling mechanism, spinning mechanisms, and looms), and many other
handiwork mechanisms are used as illustrated examples. Such an approach pro-
vides a logical tool for the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with
uncertain structures. It also provides an innovative direction for researchers to
further identify the original structures of mechanisms and machines with illus-
trations in the ancient literature.
The book is organized in such a way that it can be used for teaching, research,
and self-study. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the book. Chapter 2 introduces the
contents and background of five typical books with mechanical illustrations in
ancient China. Chapter 3 explains the definitions of mechanical members, joints,
mechanisms, machines, representation of joints, generalized kinematic chains,
mechanism structures, and constrained motion. Chapter 4 outlines the historical
development of ancient Chinese machinery and the common types of mechanisms.
Chapter 5 introduces a method of classifying mechanical illustrations and gener-
ating all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms in the historical literature. Three
different types of illustrations are presented as examples to demonstrate the pro-
posed method in detail. Chapters 6–11 explain the mechanism structure of each

v
vi Preface

device and the results of the reconstruction designs, according to the classification
of mechanical members.
The book can be used as a textbook and/or a supplemental reading material for
courses related to history of ancient (Chinese) machinery and creative mechanism
design for senior and graduate students.
The authors’ associations with Prof. Marco Cecceralli, Prof. Jin-Yen Lu, and
Prof. Bai-Chun Zhang, Prof. Li-Sheng Feng, Prof. Tsung-Yi Lin, Dr. Xiao-Wu
Guan, Dr. Lie Sun, Mr. Zhi-Zhong Zhang, and Miss Yu-Hsun Chen during the past
years have benefited a lot to the development of this book. The authors would like
to thank those who had been of continuous assistance, especially Director General
Shiunn-Shyang Chen, Director Jui-Chen Yu, Mr. Sheng-Chung Shih, and Mr.
Ching-Hsuan Tseng at the National Science and Technology Museum (Kaohsiung,
Taiwan), as well as the National Science Council (Taipei, Taiwan) for the financial
support under Grant NSC 97-2221-E-006-070-MY3.
The authors believe that this book will meet the needs of academic research and
teaching in the reconstruction design of ancient machinery and creative design of
modern mechanisms. Comments and suggestions to the improvement and revision
of the book will be highly appreciated.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan Kuo-Hung Hsiao

Tainan, Taiwan Hong-Sen Yan


Contents

1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313) . . . . . . . 9
2.1.1 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.1.2 Historical Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.2 Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》by Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀)
(AD 1621) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 21
2.2.1 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 21
2.2.2 Historical Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 23
2.3 Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》by Song Ying-xing
(宋應星) (AD 1637) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 24
2.3.1 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 24
2.3.2 Historical Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 25
2.4 Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》by Xu Guang-qi
(徐光啟) (AD 1639) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 27
2.4.1 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 27
2.4.2 Historical Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 28
2.5 Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》
by Ortai, et al. (鄂爾泰等人) (AD 1742). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.5.1 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.5.2 Historical Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

3 Mechanisms and Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


3.1 Basic Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
3.2 Mechanical Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
3.2.1 Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
3.2.2 Slider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
3.2.3 Roller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.2.4 Cam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
3.2.5 Gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
3.2.6 Screw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

vii
viii Contents

3.2.7 Belt/Thread/Rope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.2.8 Chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.2.9 Spring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.3 Joints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.3.1 Degrees of Freedom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.3.2 Type of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.3.3 Type of Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.3.4 Type of Joints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.4 Representations of Joints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
3.5 Mechanism Sketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
3.6 Mechanisms and Generalized Kinematic Chains. . . . . . . . . . . 49
3.7 Constrained Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.7.1 Planar Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.7.2 Spatial Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
3.8 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

4 Ancient Chinese Machinery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 61


4.1 Historical Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 61
4.1.1 Old Stone Age (*400,000–500,000 BC)
to New Stone Age (*2,500 BC) . . . . . . . . . ...... 61
4.1.2 New Stone Age (*2,500 BC) to Eastern
Zhou Dynasty (*550 BC). . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...... 62
4.1.3 Eastern Zhou Dynasty (*550 BC) to Ming
Dynasty (AD 1,368–1,644) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
4.2 Linkage Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.2.1 Shadoof. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.2.2 Jie Chi (界尺) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
4.2.3 Drill Device. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.2.4 Water Wheel Lever Escapement Mechanism
in Su Song’s Clock Tower. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4.3 Cam Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
4.4 Gear Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.4.1 Water-Driven Grinder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.4.2 Water-Driven Mill and Animal-Driven Mill. . . . . . . . 74
4.4.3 Cow-Driven Paddle Blade Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
4.5 Rope Drives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
4.5.1 Weaving Mechanism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
4.6 Chain Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
4.6.1 Paddle Blade Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
4.6.2 Jin Che (井車) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
4.6.3 Tian Ti (天梯, Sky ladder) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
4.7 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Contents ix

5 Reconstruction Design Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91


5.1 Classification of Ancient Mechanisms with Illustrations . . . . . 91
5.2 Reconstruction Design Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
5.3.1 Example 1: Shui Long (水礱,
A Water-Driven Mill) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 98
5.3.2 Example 2: Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽,
An Iron Roller) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 100
5.3.3 Example 3: Yang Shan (颶扇,
A Winnowing Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 100
5.4 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 108
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 108

6 Roller Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109


6.1 Soil Preparation Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
6.2 Harvest and Transportation Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
6.3 Grain Processing Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
6.3.1 Feng Che Shan (風車扇, A Winnowing Device) . . . . 111
6.3.2 Mo (礳, An Animal-Driven Grinder), Shui Mo
(水磨, A Water-Driven Grinder). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 113
6.3.3 Xiao Nian (小碾, A Small Stone Roller), Gun Shi
(滾石, A Rolling Stone) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
6.4 Water Lifting Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
6.4.1 Gua Che (刮車, A Scrape Wheel) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.4.2 Tong Che (筒車, A Cylinder Wheel) . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
6.4.3 Long Wei (龍尾, An Archimedean Screw) . . . . . . . . 116
6.5 War Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.5.1 Reconnaissance Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.5.2 Attack Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
6.5.3 Defense Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
6.6 Other Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
6.6.1 Huo Zi Ban Yun Lun (活字板韻輪,
A Type Keeping Wheel) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 127
6.6.2 Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車, A Cottonseed
Removing Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
6.6.3 Bo Che (紴車, A Linen Spinning Device) . . . . . . . . . 130
6.6.4 Tao Che (陶車, A Pottery Making Device) . . . . . . . . 130
6.7 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

7 Linkage Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137


7.1 Levers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
7.1.1 Ta Dui (踏碓, A Foot-Operated Pestle), Cao Dui
(槽碓, A Water-Driven Pestle) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
x Contents

7.1.2 Si (鐁, A Grass Cutting Device), Sang Jia


(桑夾, A Mulberry Cutting Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
7.1.3 Lian Jia (連枷, A Flail). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
7.1.4 Quan Heng (權衡, A Weighing Balance) . . . . . . . . . 142
7.1.5 He Yin (鶴飲, A Water Lifting Device) . . . . . . . . . . 143
7.1.6 Jie Gao (桔槔, A Shadoof, A Counterweight Lever) . . . 143
7.2 Pumping Tubes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
7.2.1 Hong Xi (虹吸, A Pumping Tube) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
7.2.2 Heng Sheng (恒升, A Pumping Tube). . . . . . . . . . . . 147
7.2.3 Yu Heng (玉衡, A Pumping Tube) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
7.3 Grain Processing Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
7.3.1 Shi Nian (石碾, A Stone Roller) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
7.3.2 Niu Nian (牛碾, A Cow-Driven Roller) . . . . . . . . . . 151
7.3.3 Shui Nian (水碾, A Water-Driven Roller) . . . . . . . . . 151
7.3.4 Gun Nian (輥碾, An Animal-Driven Roller) . . . . . . . 151
7.3.5 Long (礱, A Mill). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
7.3.6 Mian Luo (麫羅, A Flour Bolter) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
7.3.7 Yang Shan (颶扇, A Winnowing Device) . . . . . . . . . 154
7.4 Other Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
7.4.1 Feng Xiang (風箱, A Wind Box) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
7.4.2 Shui Pai (水排, A Water-Driven Wind Box) . . . . . . . 156
7.4.3 Shui Ji Mian Luo (水擊麫羅, A Water-Driven
Flour Bolter) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
7.4.4 Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽, An Iron Roller). . . . . . . . . . . 162
7.5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167

8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169


8.1 Agricultural Devices with Gears. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
8.1.1 Zha Zhe Ji (榨蔗機, A Cane Crushing Device) . . . . . 169
8.1.2 Lian Mo (連磨, A Multiple Grinder) . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
8.1.3 Shui Mo (水磨, A Water-Driven Grinder), Lian
Er Shui Mo (連二水磨, A Water-Driven
Two-Grinder) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 171
8.1.4 Shui Zhuan Lian Mo (水轉連磨, A Water-Driven
Multiple Grinder), Shui Long (水礱,
A Water-Driven Mill) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 173
8.2 Water Lifting Devices with Gears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 175
8.2.1 Lv Zhuan Tong Che (驢轉筒車, A Donkey-Driven
Cylinder Wheel) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 175
8.2.2 Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車, A Cow-Driven
Paddle Blade Machine) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 176
8.2.3 Shui Zhuan Fan Che (水轉翻車, A Water-Driven
Paddle Blade Machine) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 177
Contents xi

8.2.4 Feng Zhuan Fan Che (風轉翻車, A Wind-Driven


Paddle Blade Machine) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
8.3 Cam Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
8.3.1 Shui Dui (水碓, A Water-Driven Pestle) . . . . . . . . . . 182
8.3.2 Li Lun Shi Shui Pai (立輪式水排, A Vertical-Wheel
Water-Driven Wind Box) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
8.4 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189

9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191


9.1 Grain Processing Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
9.1.1 Shai Gu (篩殼, A Grain Sieving Device). . . . . . . . . . 191
9.1.2 Lv Long (驢礱, A Donkey-Driven Mill) . . . . . . . . . . 192
9.2 Water Lifting Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
9.2.1 Lu Lu (轆轤, A Pulley Block) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
9.2.2 Shou Dong Fan Che (手動翻車, A Hand-Operated
Paddle Blade Machine) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
9.2.3 Jiao Ta Fan Che (腳踏翻車, A Foot-Operated
Paddle Blade Machine) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
9.2.4 Gao Zhuan Tong Che (高轉筒車, A Chain Conveyor
Cylinder Wheel) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
9.2.5 Shui Zhuan Gao Che (水轉高車, A Water-Driven
Chain Conveyor Water Lifting Device) . . . . . . . . . . . 199
9.3 Handiwork Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
9.3.1 Ru Shui, Ru Jing (入水, 入井, Human Pulleying
Devices) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
9.3.2 Zao Jing (鑿井, A Cow-Driven Well-Drilling
Rope Drive) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
9.3.3 Mo Chuang (磨床, A Rope Drive
Grinding Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
9.3.4 Zha You Ji (榨油機, An Oil Pressing Device) . . . . . . 203
9.4 Textile Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
9.4.1 Pan Che (蟠車, A Linen Spinning Device) . . . . . . . . 206
9.4.2 Xu Che (絮車, A Cocoon Boiling Device) . . . . . . . . 207
9.4.3 Gan Mian Che (趕棉車, A Cottonseed
Removing Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
9.4.4 Tan Mian (彈棉, A Cotton Loosening Device). . . . . . 208
9.4.5 Shou Yao Fang Che, Wei Che (手搖紡車, 緯車,
Hand-Operated Spinning Devices) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
9.4.6 Jing Jia (經架, A Silk Drawing Device) . . . . . . . . . . 212
9.4.7 Mu Mian Kuang Chuang (木棉軠床,
A Cotton Drawing Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
9.5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
xii Contents

10 Crossbows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
10.1 Historical Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
10.2 Structural Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
10.3 Original Crossbow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
10.4 Chu State Repeating Crossbow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
10.5 Zhuge Repeating Crossbow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
10.5.1 With Movable Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
10.5.2 With Fixed Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
10.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242

11 Complex Textile Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... 243


11.1 Sao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling
Mechanism) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... 243
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... 254
11.2.1 Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車, A Foot-Operated
Spinning Device) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... 254
11.2.2 Pi Dai Chuan Dong Fang Che (皮帶傳動紡車,
Belt Drive Spinning Devices). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom). . . . . . . 266
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) . . . . . . 278
11.5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299
Symbols

Cpi Number of degrees of constraint of i-type planar joint


Csi Number of degrees of constraint of i-type spatial joint
Fp Number of degrees of freedom of planar mechanism
Fs Number of degrees of freedom of spatial mechanism
JA Cam joint
JBB Bamboo joint
JC Cylindrical joint
JG Gear joint
JH Helical/screw joint
JJ Pin joint
JO Rolling joint
JP Prismatic joint
JPx x-axis prismatic joint
JPy y-axis prismatic joint
JPz z-axis prismatic joint
JPxy x, y axes prismatic joint
JPxyz x, y, z axes prismatic joint
Px x-axis prismatic and z-axis revolute joint
JRz
JRPxx x-axis prismatic and x-axis revolute joint
Pxz x, z axes prismatic and y, z axes revolute joint
JRyz
JR Revolute joint
JRx x-axis revolute joint
JRy y-axis revolute joint
JRz z-axis revolute joint
JRxy x, y axes revolute joint
JRxyz x, y, z axes revolute joint
JS Spherical joint
JT Thread joint
JW Wrapping joint
KA Cam
KAf Follower
KB Bucket/suspension
KBB Bamboo

xiii
xiv Symbols

KC Chain
KCB Bow
KCR Reel with a crank
KF Frame
KG Gear
KGL Guild link
KH Screw
KHT Heddle group
KI Input link
KK Sprocket
KL Link
KLi Kinematic link of i-type
KO Roller
KP Slider/piston
KPL Percussion link/magazine
KR Rope
KRC Reed comb
KS Spindle
KSp Spring
KSL Scale link
KT Belt/thread/rope/ bowstring
KTr Treadle
KU Pulley/wheel/beam
KW Fan
KWC Cylinder
NL Number of links or members
NJ Number of joints
Chapter 1
Introduction

Abstract This book presents a unique approach to studying mechanisms and


machines with illustrations that were depicted confusedly in ancient Chinese
books. The historical, cultural, and technical backgrounds of the mechanisms are
explained, and various mechanisms described in ancient books are introduced. By
utilizing the idea for the conceptual design of modern mechanisms, all feasible
designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members and joints that meet the
technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are synthesized systematically.
Ancient Chinese crossbows (original crossbow and repeating crossbows), textile
mechanisms (silk-reeling mechanism, spinning devices, and looms), and many
other handiwork mechanisms are used as illustrated examples. Such an approach
provides a logical tool for the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with
uncertain structures. It also provides an innovative direction for researchers to
further identify the original structures of mechanisms and machines with illus-
trations in ancient literatures. The book can be used as a textbook and/or sup-
plement reading material for courses related to history of ancient (Chinese)
machinery and creative mechanism design for senior and graduate students.

In the long history of Chinese civilization, many books with ingenious inventions
have been generated. These books document production knowledge, experiences,
and technologies in a variety of primitive industries in ancient China. They also
describe functions, structures, and operations of various mechanisms and machines
(Wang 1991; Mao 2001; Pan 1998; Shi 1981; Ortai et al. 1965). In order to explain
how the production devices work, it is necessary to use illustrations to show the
different types of tools, sizes of parts, members of mechanisms, and processes of
production.
A mechanism is an assembly of mechanical members connected by joints so
that it can produce a prescribed relative motion. Mechanical members are resistant
bodies for transmitting motions and forces. To make members useful, they must be
suitably connected by joints. A machine consists of one or more mechanisms and
is designed for producing an effective work output or for conserving mechanical

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 1
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_1,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
2 1 Introduction

energy (Yan and Wu 2006; Yan 1998). From the past to the present, through the
development of mechanism and machine theories, using illustrations with points,
lines, and planes to express external appearances and internal structures of
mechanisms and machines, is far more direct than using only a text description.
This is true for either the shape or size of a single member, or a whole machine
system.
Many delicate mechanical devices were invented in ancient China (Wan 1983;
Yan 2007). Some devices have consisted of three basic parts of a modern machine
including the prime mover, the transmission mechanism, and the working
machine. Links, cams, gears, ropes, chain drives, and other mechanical members
have been widely applied in a variety of machinery, such as agricultural, weaving,
weaponry, and handicraft devices. There are five typical books that describe the
technical development and major mechanisms in ancient China, including Nong
Shu《農書》authored by Wang Zhen (王禎) (Wang 1991) in AD1313, Wu Bei
Zhi《武備志》by Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀) (Mao 2001) in AD 1621, Tian Gong Kai
Wu《天工開物》by Song Ying-xing (宋應星) (Pan 1998) in AD 1637, Nong
Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》by Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟) (Shi 1981) in AD 1639,
and Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》by Ortai et al. (Ortai et al.
1965) in AD 1742.
These books not only collected in detail the uses of mechanical devices in
ancient China, but also documented the methods of how to produce the members
and to assemble those members into devices. They provide significant research and
reference value in order to understand the development of technology in the
subject’s time period. They also present the mechanical illustrations to explain the
working processes of the devices. For example, the book Nong Shu《農書》in the
Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271–1368), authored by Wang Zhen (王禎), documented a
device driven by water to automatically pestle grains (Wang 1991): “…people
today build a water wheel with a shaft. The shaft is several Chinese-meters long.
The paddles are installed on the shaft and each one is located in different direc-
tions. It is quite similar to a rolling spiked wheel. When water drives the wheel to
spin, the paddles on the shaft start to hit the tilted hammers periodically. The tilted
hammers thus rise and fall to pestle grains. This is the so-called Lian Ji Dui (a
water-driven multiple pestle). This device usually can be set at along the way of
flowing water.”『…今人造作水輪, 輪軸長可數尺, 列貫橫木相交, 如滾槍之
制。水激輪轉, 則軸間橫木, 間打排碓梢,一起一落舂之,即連機碓也。凡在流
水岸傍, 俱可設置。』There is also an illustration for this device in the book, as
shown in Fig. 1.1. This passage provides lots of information regarding this design
for later generations, such as the functions, power source, and the names of the
parts (water wheel, shaft, paddle, tilted hammer), etc. However, later generations
may have some difficulty in understanding the structure and assembly of the device
by studying the text only. Through the combination of the text and the illustration,
it is easy to understand the relationships between the appearance of the device and
the assembly of its parts, as well as its actual transmission process.
According to the degree of clarity of their illustrations, mechanisms in ancient
literature can be classified into three types: mechanisms with clear structures
1 Introduction 3

Fig. 1.1 A water-driven multiple pestle (Wang 1991)

(Type I), mechanisms with uncertain types of joints (Type II), and mechanisms
with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints (Type III). For Type II
and Type III, it is difficult to understand the actual transmission process of
mechanisms by studying the illustrations. There are following three reasons that
caused the uncertain illustrations happened in ancient China:
1. Generally speaking, a craftsman usually did not make a design illustration
before the production of a mechanical device. He also did not determine the
precise sizes of the parts and did not consider the assembly process. The final
product was arrived at using the applied trial and error method to complete it.
2. In most situations, a craftsman taught his technique through conversations
between the craftsman and his apprentices. There was no system with which to
record the sizes of the parts, the production method, and other related
information.
3. The drawers of the mechanical illustrations in the literature were not usually the
original designers or craftsmen of the devices. Therefore, the drawers did not
realize the details for the devices such as the shapes and sizes of the mechanical
members, the connection among them, and the transmission process.
4 1 Introduction

Although the engineering graphics had been developed in ancient China, most
of the graphics at that time were drawn only for the buildings of central and local
governments. The devices for daily use did not get much attention. In some
illustrations, it is hard to comprehend the dimensions of members and the con-
nected relationships between them. In some others, the types and numbers of the
joints of the devices can not be identified. These facts make it difficult to under-
stand the actual movements of mechanisms from those illustrations, and this is one
of the problems when studying ancient machinery. Since ancient China has a long
history with large territory, the structures of ancient devices may vary during the
different dynasties or locations. These variations would make it difficult for the
people today to study the technology development at the different periods of
ancient China. This is the second problem when studying ancient machinery.
The purpose of reconstructing ancient machinery is to recreate the original
device based on the principles, engineering, and craftsmanship available during that
time. The reconstructed device can then be used to demonstrate the level of
mechanical technology of the subject’s time period. The reconstruction research of
ancient machinery requires a scientific factuality and a historical objectivity in
evaluation. Only proven facts can be incorporated into the reconstruction design,
and the unproven and uncertain structures should be treated as variables. Therefore,
the reconstructed designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures may not
be singular, diverse designs are normally unavoidable (Yan 2007; Lin 2001).
Ancient Chinese books have many illustrations with the structures of the
devices. However, some of them are illustrated with theoretical ambiguity or
irrationality. For example, Fig. 1.2 from the book Nong Shu《農書》(Wang 1991)
shows a Shao Che (繅車, a foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism) that helps
women to extract the silk from silkworm cocoons. The foot-operated silk-reeling

Fig. 1.2 A foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism (Wang 1991)


1 Introduction 5

mechanism can be divided by their function into two sub-mechanisms: the treadle
crank mechanism and the guide silk mechanism. According to the text related to
the illustration, when an operator pedals the treadle, the reel with a crank, called
Ren Zhou (軠軸) is driven to rotate. Another mechanism guides the silk to arrange
the direction of the reeling and helps the silk wind up around the reel evenly.
However, as to the function described above, only several mechanical members
belong to the treadle crank mechanism are found in the illustration, and the
connection and the transmission processes among the members are missing. In
addition, the guide silk mechanism is not shown in the illustration and may have
different feasible designs. Therefore, the illustrations in ancient literature not only
need to be clarified but should also be studied and investigated for their uncertain,
incorrect, and lost members.
Due to incomplete documentation and vague descriptions, the structures of
some ancient mechanisms are still uncertain. Therefore, this work focuses on the
reconstruction designs of ancient devices described in these five books through the
viewpoints of modern mechanisms.
The objective of this work is to present a unique approach for studying
mechanisms and machines with illustrations that were depicted unclearly in
ancient Chinese books. By utilizing the idea for the conceptual design of modern
mechanisms, all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members
and joints that meet the technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are
synthesized systematically. Such an approach provides a logical tool for the
reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures. It also
provides an innovative direction for researchers to further identify the original
structures of mechanisms and machines with illustrations in ancient literatures.
This work introduces 96 devices that are described and illustrated in the above
mentioned five ancient Chinese books. According to the degree of clarity of these
illustrations, there are 72 devices with certain structures (Type I), 14 devices with
uncertain types of joints (Type II), and 10 devices with uncertain numbers and
types of members and joints (Type III). Chapter 2 introduces the contents and the
backgrounds of the five books mentioned above. Chapter 3 explains the definitions
of mechanical members, joints, mechanisms, machines, representation of joints,
kinematic chains, mechanism structures, and constrained motion. Chapter 4 out-
lines the historical development of ancient Chinese machinery and the common
types of mechanisms. Chapter 5 introduces a method for classifying mechanical
illustrations and discovering of all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms in
historical literatures. Three different types of illustrations are presented as exam-
ples to demonstrate the proposed method in detail. Chapter 6 introduces 35 roller
devices and all of them are Type I mechanisms with clear structures. Chapter 7
presents 22 devices with link members including eight mechanisms with clear
structures (Type I), 13 mechanisms with uncertain types of joints (Type II), and
one mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints (Type
III). Chapter 8 describes six agricultural devices with gears, four water lifting
devices with gears, and two cam mechanisms. Among them, there are 11 mech-
anisms with certain structures (Type I) and one mechanism with uncertain
6 1 Introduction

numbers and types of members and joints (Type III). Chapter 9 introduces 19
devices with flexible connecting members including two grain processing devices,
five water lifting devices, four handiwork devices, and eight textile devices.
Among them, there are 18 mechanisms with clear structures (Type I) and one
mechanism with uncertain types of joints (Type II). Chapter 10 discusses the
original crossbow, Chu State repeating crossbow, and Zhuge repeating crossbow.
All of them belong to Type III mechanisms with uncertain numbers and types of
members and joints. Chapter 11 analyzes five textile devices including a foot-
operated silk-reeling mechanism, a foot-operated spinning device, a belt drive
spinning device, a foot-operated slanting loom, and a drawloom for pattern-
weaving. All of them are classified as Type III mechanisms with uncertain num-
bers and types of members and joints.
There are a total of 110 original illustrations, 81 structural sketches, 26 simu-
lation illustrations, 21 imitation illustrations, seven prototypes, and 17 real objects
described in this work. The joints of the ancient mechanisms shown in this work
can be classified into three types: first, the types of joints that are easy to identify
such as revolute, prismatic, warping, cam, and gear joints; second, the types of
joints that are uncertain such as cylindrical, rolling, spherical, and pin joints; third,
the types of joints that are certain but rare in modern mechanisms such as bamboo
and thread joints. Sorted by functions, these ancient devices can be divided into
nine types: soil preparation devices, harvest and transportation devices, grain
processing devices, war weapons, handiwork devices, mining devices, water lifting
devices (lever and pumping tubes), blast metallurgy devices, and textile devices. It
covers almost all kinds of primitive industries in ancient China.
This work can be used as a textbook and/or supplemental reading material for
courses related to the history of ancient (Chinese) machinery and creative mech-
anism design for senior and graduate students. The authors believe that this work
will fill the needs, both academic research and teaching, for the reconstruction
design of ancient machinery and the creative design of mechanisms and machines.

References

Lin TY (2001) A systematic reconstruction design of ancient Chinese escapement regulators (in
Chinese). Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung
University, Tainan. 林聰益,古中國擒調速器之系統化復原設計,博士論文,國立成功大學機
械工程學系,台南,2001年。
Mao YY (Ming Dynasty) (2001) Wu Bei Zhi (in Chinese). Henan Education Press, Henan. 《武
備志》;茅元儀[明朝]撰,海南出版社,海南,2001年。
Ortai et al (Qing Dynasty) (1965) Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao (in Chinese). Taiwan
Commercial Press, Taipei. 《欽定授時通考》;鄂爾泰[清朝]等編,收錄於四庫全書珍本(王
雲五主編),台灣商務印書館,台北,1965年。
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese). Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai. 《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
References 7

Shi SH (1981) Annotation of Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese). Ming Wen Bookstore, Taipei.
《農政全書校注》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,石聲漢校注,明文書局,台北,1981年。
Wan DD (1983) Development of Chinese mechanical technology (in Chinese). Central Supply
Agency of Cultural Subjects, Taipei. 萬迪棣,中國機械科技之發展,中央文物供應社,台
北,1983年。
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1991) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing.
《農書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Yan HS (1998) Creative design of mechanical devices. Springer, Singapore
Yan HS (2007) Reconstruction designs of lost ancient Chinese machinery. Springer, Netherlands
Yan HS, Wu LI (2006) Mechanisms (in Chinese), 3rd edn, Dong Hua Books, Taipei. 顏鴻森、吳
隆庸,機構學,第三版,東華書局,台北,2006年。
Chapter 2
Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient
Books

Abstract There are many technical books with mechanical illustrations in ancient
China in which the texts and illustrations are coordinated to introduce technologies
and production processes from a variety of primitive industries during the time
periods of these books. This chapter introduces five representative technical books
including, Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) , Wu Bei Zhi 《武備志》by
Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀), Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》by Song Ying-xing (宋應
星), Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》by Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟), and Qin Ding
Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》. The contents and the historical back-
ground of these books are presented. In these five books, there are a total of
96 movable devices.

2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313)

The book Nong Shu《農書》, authored by Wang Zhen (王禎), was printed and
published in the 2nd year (AD 1313) of Era Huangqing (皇慶) in the reign of
Emperor Renzong (仁宗) of the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271–1368). It systematically
introduced the agricultural works on a large scale during the Yuan Dynasty. It is a
masterpiece that summarizes the production experiences and the agricultural
technologies in the subject’s time period. Figure 2.1 shows the cover page and
original preface, published by the Jinan Shan-Cheng Printing Bureau (濟南善成印
務局) in 1924 (Wang 1924). There are 51 mechanisms with illustrations in Nong
Shu, as listed in Table 2.1. The contents and historical background of this book are
introduced as follows.

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 9
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_2,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
10 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

Fig. 2.1 Cover page and original preface of Nong Shu《農書》(Wang 1924)

2.1.1 Contents

Nong Shu《農書》has 370 sets in 37 volumes. It can be divided into three parts:
Nong Sang Tong Jue《農桑通訣, Bai Gu Pu《百榖譜》, and Nong Qi Tu Pu《農
器圖譜》, outlined as follows (Wang 1991).

2.1.1.1 Nong Sang Tong Jue《農桑通訣》

This section generally discusses the origins and the historical development of
agriculture in ancient China. It not only explains the importance of developing
agriculture and sericulture as well as the importance of saving food to prepare for
future droughts, but also introduces the agricultural production experience in
ancient China, such as plowing, sowing, cultivating, fertilizer managing, harvest
storing, etc. In addition, there are some elaborations on the technologies of
planting, feeding poultry, and livestock.

2.1.1.2 Bai Gu Pu《百榖譜》

Bai Gu Pu《百榖譜》introduces the cultivation points for more than 80 kinds of


crops and puts them into different categories. A variety of food and economic
Table 2.1 Mechanisms with illstrations in ancient books (96 items)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Li Ze Lei Si Nong Qi
(礰礋) 《耒耜》 《農器》
Liu Zhe Lei Si Nong Qi
(磟碡) 《耒耜》 《農器》
Gun Zhou Pa Ba Nong Qi Shou Huo
(輥軸) 《杷朳》 《農器》 《收穫》
Dun Che Lei Si Nong Qi
(砘車) 《耒耜》 《農器》
Shi Tuo Nai Li
(石陀) 《乃粒》
Xia Ze Che Zhou Chi
(下澤車) 《舟車》
Da Che Zhou Chi
(大車) 《舟車》
Tui Lian Zhi Ai Nong Qi
2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313)

(推鐮) 《銍艾》 《農器》


Mai Long Mou Mai Nong Qi Shou Huo
(麥籠) 《麰麥》 《農器》 《收穫》
He Gua Da Che Zhou Chi
(合掛大車) 《舟車》
Nan Fang Du Tui Che Zhou Chi
(南方獨推車) 《舟車》
Shuang Qian Du Lun Che Zhou Chi
(雙譴獨輪車) 《舟車》
Feng Che Shan Chu Jiu Sui Jing Gong Zhi
(風車扇) 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《攻治》
11

(continued)
Table 2.1 (continued)
12

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Mo Chu Jiu Sui Jing Nong Qi Gong Zhi
(礳) 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《農器》 《攻治》
Shui Mo Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
(水磨) 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Xiao Nian Sui Jing Gong Zhi
(小碾) 《碎精》 《攻治》
Gun Shi Sui Jing
(滾石) 《碎精》
Gua Che Guai Gai Shui Li Guai Gai
(刮車) 《灌溉》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Tong Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(筒車) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Long Wei Jun Zi Cheng Shui Li Tai Xi Sui Fa
(龍尾) 《軍資乘》 《水利》 《泰西水法》
Chao Che Jun Zi Cheng
(巢車) 《軍資乘》
Wang Lo Che Jun Zi Cheng
(望樓車) 《軍資乘》
Hao Qiao Jun Zi Cheng
(壕橋) 《軍資乘》
Yang Feng Che Jun Zi Cheng
(揚風車) 《軍資乘》
Fen Wen Che Jun Zi Cheng
(轒轀車) 《軍資乘》
Yun Ti Jun Zi Cheng
(雲梯) 《軍資乘》
2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

(continued)
Table 2.1 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Pao Che Jun Zi Cheng
(砲車) 《軍資乘》
Zhuang Che Jun Zi Cheng
(撞車) 《軍資乘》
Lei Jun Zi Cheng
(檑) 《軍資乘》
Lang Ya Pai Jun Zi Cheng
(狼牙拍) 《軍資乘》
Man Jun Zi Cheng
(幔) 《軍資乘》
Huo Zi Ban Yun Lun Ma Zhu
(活字板韻輪) 《麻苧》
Mu Mian Jiao Che Kuang Xu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(木棉攪車) 《纊絮》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313)

Bo Che Ma Zhu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu


(紴車) 《麻苧》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Tao Che Tao Yan
(陶車) 《陶埏》
Ta Dui (踏碓) Chu Jiu Gao Yi Nong Qi Gong Zhi
Dui Chong (碓舂) 《杵臼》 《膏液》 《農器》 《攻治》
Sui Jing
《碎精》
Cao Dui Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
(槽碓) 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Si Zhi Ai Nong Qi Mu Shi
(鐁) 《銍艾》 《農器》 《牧事》
13

(continued)
Table 2.1 (continued)
14

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Sang Jia Can Sang Can Sang Can Shi
(桑夾) 《蠶桑》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Lian Jia (連枷) Pa Ba Sui Jing Nong Qi Shou Huo
Da Jia (打枷) 《杷朳》 《碎精》 《農器》 《收穫》
Quan Heng Jia Bing
(權衡) 《佳兵》
He Yin Tai Xi Sui Fa
(鶴飲) 《泰西水法》
Jie Gao Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(桔槹) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Hong Xi Tai Xi Sui Fa
(虹吸) 《泰西水法》
Heng Sheng Jun Zi Cheng Shui Li Tai Xi Sui Fa
(恒升) 《軍資乘》 《水利》 《泰西水法》
Yu Heng Jun Zi Cheng Shui Li Tai Xi Sui Fa
(玉衡) 《軍資乘》 《水利》 《泰西水法》
Shi Nian (石碾) Chu Jiu Nong Qi
Nian (碾) 《杵臼》 《農器》
Niu Nian Sui Jing
(牛碾) 《碎精》
Shui Nian Chu Jiu Sui Jing Shui Li Gong Zhi
(水碾) 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《水利》 《攻治》
Gun Nian (輥碾) Chu Jiu Nong Qi Gong Zhi
Hai Qing Nian (海青碾) 《杵臼》 《農器》 《攻治》
(continued)
2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books
Table 2.1 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Long (礱) Chu Jiu Gao Yi Nong Qi Gong Zhi
Mu Long (木礱) 《杵臼》 《膏液》 《農器》 《攻治》
Tu Long (土礱) Sui Jing
《碎精》
Mian Luo Sui Jing Gong Zhi
(麫羅) 《碎精》 《攻治》
Yang Shan Sui Jing Nong Qi Gong Zhi
(颺扇) 《碎精》 《農器》 《攻治》
Feng Xiang Ye Zhu
(風箱) 《冶鑄》
Chui Duan
《錘鍛》
Wu Jin
《五金》
Wo Lun Shi Shui Pai Li Yong Shui Li
(臥輪式水排) 《利用》 《水利》
2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313)

Shui Ji Mian Luo Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi


(水擊麫羅) 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Tie Nian Cao Dan Qing
(鐵碾槽) 《丹青》
Zha Zhe Ji Gan Shi
(榨蔗機) 《甘嗜》
Lian Mo Chu Jiu
(連磨) 《杵臼》
Shui Mo Sui Jing
(水磨) 《碎精》
Lian Er Shui Mo Shui Li Gong Zhi
(連二水磨) 《水利》 《攻治》
15

(continued)
Table 2.1 (continued)
16

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Shui Zhuan Lian Mo Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
(水轉連磨) 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Shui Long Li Yong Shui Li
(水礱) 《利用》 《水利》
Lv Zhuan Tong Che Guai Gai Shui Li Guai Gai
(驢轉筒車) 《灌溉》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Niu Zhuan Fan Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(牛轉翻車) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Shui Zhuan Fan Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(水轉翻車) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Shui Che (水車)
Feng Zhuan Fan Che Nai Li
(風轉翻車) 《乃粒》
(only text without illustration)
Shui Dui (水碓) Li Yong Sui Jing Shui Li Gong Zhi
Ji Dui (機碓) 《利用》 《碎精》 《水利》 《攻治》
Lian Ji Dui (連機碓)
Li Lun Shi Shui Pai Li Yong
(立輪式水排) 《利用》
(only text without illustration)
Shai Gu Sui Jing
(篩殼) 《碎精》
Lv Long Chu Jiu Sui Jing Nong Qi
(驢礱) 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《農器》
(continued)
2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books
Table 2.1 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Lu Lu Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(轆轤) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Shou Dong Fan Che Nai Li
(手動翻車) 《乃粒》
Ba Che (拔車)
Jiao Ta Fan Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(腳踏翻車) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Ta Che (踏車)
Gao Zhuan Tong Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(高轉筒車) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Shui Zhuan Gao Che Guai Gai Shui Li
(水轉高車) 《灌溉》 《水利》
(no illustration)
Ru Shui Zuo Xian
(入水)
2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313)

《作鹹》
Ru Jing Fan Shi 《燔石》
(入井) Zhu Yu 《珠玉》
Zao Jing Zuo Xian
(鑿井) 《作鹹》
Mo Chuang (磨床) Zhu Yu
(a cutting jade device) 《珠玉》
Zha You Ji Gao Yi
(榨油機) 《膏液》
Pan Che Ma Zhu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(蟠車) 《麻苧》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
(continued)
17
Table 2.1 (continued)
18

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Xu Che Kuang Xu Can Sang Can Shi
(絮車) 《纊絮》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Gan Mian Che Nai Fu
(趕棉車) 《乃服》
Tan Mian Nai Fu
(彈棉) 《乃服》
Shou Yao Fang Che Nai Fu
(手搖紡車) 《乃服》
Fang lu (紡縷)
Wei Che (緯車) Zhi Ren Nai Fu Can Sang Can Shi
Fang Wei (紡緯) 《織絍》 《乃服》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Jing Jia Zhi Ren Can Sang Can Shi
(經架) 《織絍》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Mu Mian Kuang Chuang Kuang Xu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(木棉軠床) 《纊絮》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Original Crossbow Jun Zi Cheng Jia Bing
《軍資乘》 《佳兵》
Zhen Lian Zhi
《陣練制》
Chu State Repeating Crossbow
(No ancient document recorded)
Zhuge Repeating Crossbow Jun Zi Cheng Jia Bing
《軍資乘》 《佳兵》
(continued)
2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books
Table 2.1 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Sao Che Can Sao Nai Fu Can Sang Can Shi
(繅車) 《蠶繅》 《乃服》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Jiao Ta Fang Che Kuang Xu Nai Fu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(腳踏紡車) 《纊絮》 《乃服》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Mu Mian Xian Jia Ma Zhu
(木棉線架) 《麻苧》
Xia Fang Che
(小紡車)
Mu Mian Fang Che
(木棉紡車)
Pi Dai Chuan Dong Fang Che Ma Zhu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(皮帶傳動紡車) 《麻苧》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Da Fang Che Li Yong Shui Li
(大紡車) 《利用》 《水利》
Shui Zhuan Da Fang Che
2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313)

(水轉大紡車)
Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機) Ma Zhu Nai Fu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
Yao Ji (腰機) 《麻苧》 《乃服》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Bu Ji (布機) Zhi Ren
Wo Ji (臥機) 《織絍》
Ti Hua Ji (提花機) Zhi Ren Nai Fu Can Sang Can Shi
Hua Ji (花機) 《織絍》 《乃服》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Zhi Ji (織機)
19
20 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

crops, and their origins, species and cultivation methods are also included. This
section adds the descriptions on the characteristics of the plants as well.

2.1.1.3 Nong Qi Tu Pu《農器圖譜》

This section is a distinguishing feature of the book, accounting for four fifths of the
whole book’s contents. It collects 300 pieces of illustrations with texts, detailing
the structures and usages of a variety of agricultural equipment and major facili-
ties. It can be considered as the earliest historical materials available coupled with
illustrations about farming tools. After the Yuan Dynasty, the text descriptions for
farm tools in the agricultural books were transcribed from the contents of Nong
Shu《農書》.
Nong Shu《農書》discusses both northern and southern agricultural technol-
ogies, describes the land usage and farm irrigation, and widely introduces a variety
of agricultural devices. The book is valuable for studying ancient Chinese agri-
culture. Tian Zhi Meng《田制門》(farm measure system), one part of the book,
has two appendices: Fa Zhi Chang Sheng Wu《法制長生屋》and Zao Huo Zhi
Yin Shu Fa《造活字印書法》. Both of them have important contributions to the
future fireproofing of buildings and letterpress printing technology, respectively.

2.1.2 Historical Background

Nong Shu《農書》was completed in the heyday of the Yuan Dynasty. The society
was relatively stable and has rapid developments in culture and education. After
“Yuan Shih-tsu” Kublai_Khan (元世祖忽必烈) (AD 1215–1294) became the
emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, he adopted a series of policies to restore and develop
agricultural production, in order to increase the number of buildings and popula-
tion. Under such policies, many of the new production technologies were created.
As a result, this book in one aspect collected old agricultural technologies and
extensively referred to ancient agricultural recordings in history books. In another
aspect, it summarized contemporary experiences, new technologies, and the
author’s own inspection, research, and results for agricultural knowledge.
Wang Zhen (王禎), the author of Nong Shu《農書》, was born at Dongping
County in Shandong Province (山東省東平縣). His adult name is Bo Shang (伯
善). He was a magistrate of Jingde County in Xuan Province (宣州旌德縣) in the
1st year (AD 1295) of Era Yuanzhen (元貞) of the reign of Emperor Chengzong
(成宗) of the Yuan Dynasty, and then he became another magistrate in Yuanfeng
County in Xin Province (信州永豐縣) in the 4th year (AD1300) of Era Dade (大
德) of the reign of Emperor Chengzong (成宗). Nong Shu《農書》was completed
during these two government positions’ terms, extending for more than 10 years.
Wang Zhen (王禎) traveled around different places and earned so much experience
that he could summarize and integrate southern and northern agricultural systems.
2.1 Nong Shu《農書》by Wang Zhen (王禎) (AD 1313) 21

During his terms as magistrates, he advised the farmers in farming and sericulture,
propagated more advanced farming technologies, developed Nong Sang Mian Ma
(農桑棉麻, meaning all kinds of agricultural production), and reformed farming
tools as he kept accumulating new experiences. In addition to collecting and
documenting all kinds of crop-planting methods as well as the production methods
of farming tools, he also designed some innovative agricultural devices.
Nong Shu《農書》delivers a philosophy in agriculture and aims at teaching
people about production. Therefore, most farming tools in the book, the manu-
facturing methods, the parts assembly, sizes, and transmission modes are described
carefully and truthfully. With lots of explanatory illustrations, this book can be
considered a highly valuable textbook about agriculture of that time. Unlike
Jia《齊民要術》(Jia 1968) or other agricultural books that are only applicable in
some areas, Nong Shu《農書》makes a comprehensive description about ancient
China’s whole agricultural system including the seasons, climate, irrigation, soil,
and other conditions in that time, as well as farming tools and production tech-
nologies, etc. It is the first book that systematically studies the agriculture in
southern and northern China.

2.2 Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》by Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀)


(AD 1621)

The book Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》, authored by Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀, AD 1594–


1640) was printed and published in the 1st year (AD 1621) of the Era Tianqi (天
啟) of the reign of Emperor Xizong (熹宗) of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644).
This book is the most comprehensive military masterpiece with the largest scale
and the most amount of content. It is known as an encyclopedia of classical
military study. Figure 2.2 shows the cover page and original preface, published by
Henan Education Press (海南出版社) in 2001 (Mao 2001). There are 16 mecha-
nisms with illustrations in Wu Bei Zhi, as listed in Table 2.1. The contents and
historical background of this book are introduced as follows:

2.2.1 Contents

Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》has a total of 240 volumes, over two million words, and
738 illustrations. It can be divided into five parts: Bing Jue Ping《兵訣評》, Zhan
Lue Kao《戰略考》, Zhen Lian Zhi《陣練制》, Jun Zi Cheng《軍資乘》, and
Zhan Du Zai《占度載》, outlined as follows (Wang 2004).
22 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

Fig. 2.2 Cover page and original preface of Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》(Mao 2001)

2.2.1.1 Bing Jue Ping《兵訣評》

This part contains 18 volumes. It selects and copies the full text of famous military
books before the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644), such as Sun Zi《孫子》, Wu Zi
《吳子》, Si Ma Fa《司馬法》, Liu Tao《六韜》, Wei Liao Zi《尉繚子》, San
Lue《三略》, and Li Wei Gong Wen Dui《李衛工問對》. In addition, it contains
parts of Shen Ji Zhi Di Tai Bai Yin Jin《神機制敵太白陰經》and Hu Ling Jin
《虎鈐經》. By evaluating the main ideas of those books, the author elaborates
his understanding and viewpoints on those previous military studies.

2.2.1.2 Zhan Lue Kao《戰略考》

This part contains 33 volumes. It collects 613 famous war stories from different
dynasties in the order of time. Mao reviewed the war strategies within the stories
and compared them with each other, trying to gain lessons from those histories as
references for the warfare in his time.

2.2.1.3 Zhen Lian Zhi《陣練制》

This part contains 41 volumes and can be divided into two categories: Zhen《陣》
and Lian《練》. Zhen《陣》details the different tactical deployments with
illustrations before the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644). Lian《練》describes the
soldiers’ recruitment, unit establishment, reward and punishment, education and
instruction, and training.

2.2.1.4 Jun Zi Cheng《軍資乘》

This part contains 55 volumes and can be divided into eight categories including
camps, war, attack, defend, water, fire, salary, and horse. It discusses how to
prepare materials for military use, such as military devices, gunpowder, war tanks,
2.2 Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》by Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀) (AD 1621) 23

warships, food, and so on. This category is a very important reference for ancient
military supplies and logistics.

2.2.1.5 Zhan Du Zai 《占度載》

This part contains 93 volumes and can be divided into two categories: Zhan《占》
and Du《度》. Zhan《占》reflects the typical viewpoints with regards to
astronomy and climate in the author’s time, even though many of them are
superstitious and ridiculous. Du《度》mainly describes the basic conditions for
military in the Ming Dynasty, such as geographical situations, military gates and
key places, enemies’ situations from the seas and the lands, deployments of mil-
itary bases, army structure, military wages and finance, etc.

2.2.2 Historical Background

The author of Wu Bei Zhi 《武備志》is Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀, AD 1594–1640).


His adult name is Zhi Sheng (止生) and his pseudonym is Shi Ming (石民). He was
born in Wuxing County of Zhejiang Province (浙江省吳興縣) in the 2nd year (AD
1594) of Era Wanli (萬歷) of the reign of Emperor Shenzong (神宗), and died in
the 13th year (AD 1640) of Era Chongzhen (崇禎) of the reign of Emperor Sizong
(思宗) of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644). In his youth, Mao was a low level
official in the Imperial Academy. He liked studying books even when he was still
young, especially military books. Several years later, he became a famous military
expert and acclaimed by many military leaders (Wang 2004).
In 1616, the Jurchen people (女真族) from the Northeast established the Houjin
(後金) regime. The regime’s leader called himself Jinguo Khan (金國汗, the ruler
of Houjin). Several years later, the leader attacked the Ming Dynasty. At that time,
the power of the Ming Dynasty was controlled by eunuch officials. For some
reasons, they weakened the power of the army that led to the failure of Ming’s
military. Because of anxiety and anger about the political situation, Mao decided
to write a book for his own military philosophy. He integrated military theories
from the past dynasties, weapon technologies, and his own thoughts about how to
rule the nation, into the book Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》. This book was printed and
published in 1621. Since then, Mao became more and more famous. He followed
the Scholar Sun Chen-zong (孫承宗), leading the army to defend Houjin (後金) in
the Liaodong (遼東) area and recovering many lost territories.
Mao was good not only at conceptualizing theories but also executing them. He
wrote many books, but Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》 has the most profound influence on
later generations. Although some parts of its contents were copied from other
military books, the book still contains his unique military philosophy. For
example, Mao stated that learning military theories and executing them are both
important when training military officers. He encouraged officers to learn military
24 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

strategies and tactics, emphasizing military training and the importance of border
and coast defense, and he advocated continuing to produce and enhance war
weapons, etc.

2.3 Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》by Song Ying-xing


(宋應星) (AD 1637)

The book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》by Song Ying-xing (宋應星, AD 1587–
1666) was printed and published in the 10th year (AD 1637) of Era Chongzhen (崇
禎) of the reign of Emperor Sizong (思宗) of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644)
and is a comprehensive science and technology book. This book records over 130
production technologies and more than 100 illustrations before the middle age of
the Ming Dynasty. It depicts the names, the shapes, and the making process of
different devices. Figure 2.3 shows the cover page and original preface, published
by Hua Tung Book Company (華通書局) in 1930 (Song 1930). There are
47 mechanisms with illustrations in Tian Gong Kai Wu, as listed in Table 2.1. The
contents and historical background of this book are introduced as follows:

2.3.1 Contents

Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》has 18 chapters in three volumes (Sun and Sun
1966). The author intentionally arranged the first chapter as Nai Li《乃粒》
(growing of grains) and the last one as Zhu Yu《珠玉》(pearls and gems). The
reason behind this arrangement is that the former “growing of grains” is related to
daily food supply, while the latter “pearls and gems” has nothing to do with

Fig. 2.3 Cover page and original preface of Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》(Song 1930)
2.3 Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》by Song Ying-xing (宋應星) (AD 1637) 25

people’s livelihood. Every chapter is named after two elegant words found in
ancient classics. The details of each chapter are explained as follows:
Volume I
Chapter 1 Nai Li《乃粒》(growing of grains): farming technologies for food
crops
Chapter 2 Nai Fu《乃服》(clothing materials): clothes materials, their sources
and the processing methods
Chapter 3 Zhang Shi《彰施》(dyes): vegetable dyes and the dyeing methods
Chapter 4 Sui Jing《碎精》(preparation of grains): processing of grains
Chapter 5 Zuo Xian《作鹹》(salt): six methods for manufacturing salt
Chapter 6 Gan Shi《甘嗜》(sugar): methods for planting cane and producing
sugar
Volume II
Chapter 7 Tao Yan《陶埏》(ceramics): manufacturing bricks, tiles, and ceramics
Chapter 8 Ye Zhu《冶鑄》(casting): casting and processing of metal devices
Chapter 9 Zhou Chi 《舟車》(boats and carts): structures and manufacturing
methods of boats, ships, and vehicles
Chapter 10 Chui Duan《錘鍛》(hammer forging): forging methods for iron and
bronze devices
Chapter 11 Fan Shi《燔石》(calcination of stones): calcining and heating tech-
niques of lime and coal
Chapter 12 Gao Yi《膏液》(vegetable oils and fats): 16 methods to extract
vegetable oils and fats
Chapter 13 Sha Qing《殺青》(paper): five processes for making paper
Volume III
Chapter 14 Wu Jin《五金》(metals): mining and smelting of metals
Chapter 15 Jia Bing《佳兵》(weapons): manufacturing methods of weapons,
such as bolts, crossbows, repeating crossbows, gunpowder, firearms,
landmines, submarine mines, musket, etc.
Chapter 16 Dan Qing《丹青》(vermilion and ink): making of ink and pigment as
well as the description of Yin Zhu (銀朱, mercury sulfide)
Chapter 17 Qu Nie 《麴糵》(yeasts): process of making wine
Chapter 18 Zhu Yu《珠玉》(pearls and gems): sources and mining of pearls and
gems

2.3.2 Historical Background

The agricultural and handicraft industries of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644)
became heir to the technological achievements of the previous dynasties. Also, the
Ming Dynasty imported many new products and technologies from the West to
expand and develop its own traditional ones. Therefore, the level of production
skills in all aspects had improved at that time.
26 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

The author of Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》, Song Ying-xing (宋應星, AD


1587–1666) with his adult name as Chang Geng (長庚), was born in Fengxing
County of Jiangxi Province (江西省奉新縣) in the 15th year (AD 1587) of Era
Wan Li (萬歷) of the Ming Dynasty, and died around 1666 (Pan 1998). He came
from a family whose members had been well-educated for many generations but
their power was already on the decline when he was growing up. In his youth,
Song received the usual classical education and naturally tried to follow the only
formal career route open to him by taking the civil service examinations. He
passed the public examinations to the level of a provincial graduate in 1615 at the
age of 28. During 1616–1631, he attempted the metropolitan examination but this
ended in disappointment. In 1631, he tried for the fifth and last time at the age of
44. After his mother died in 1632, he gave up trying to pass the examination and
instead served in a number of official capacities. In 1634, Song served as a military
officer in Fenyi County of Jiangxi Province (江西省分宜縣) and started to write
the literary pieces. In order to finish the extensive and detailed work, he studied
and gathered materials over a number of years. It seems that Song’s unsuccessful
trips to the capital to take the examinations had helped him to gather materials
from beyond his native province and provided him with a broad base of knowledge
demonstrated in the work. He completed and published his famous book Tain
Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》in 1637.
Tian Gong (天工) refers to the behaviors of nature relative to humans. Kai Wu
(開物) means processing and producing things from all kinds of natural resources
for man’s good. The title “Tian Gong Kai Wu” (天工開物) emphasizes the
behaviors of human and nature as they interact with each other. When man’s
efforts are combined with nature, useful things can be created from nature through
the technologies.
Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》has three main features when compared with
other ancient Chinese literature. The first is the detailed illustrations that are
valuable for later generations in understanding many early Chinese production
techniques. Profusely illustrated with over 100 original woodcuts, the book covers
practically all major industrial techniques of its time. The second is that the
descriptions of the production processes are not only qualitative analysis but are
also detailed amounts on the rate of materials and products, the consumption of
energy resources, and the dimensions of the instruments, etc. It is a great
advancement of the quantitative analysis in ancient Chinese literature. The third is
that the book breaks away from Chinese tradition by rarely referencing a previous
written work. It is instead written in a style of detailed first-hand data.
Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》has been translated into different languages
and published in many countries. The influences of the book have spread all over
the world. As the historian Joseph Needham pointed out, the vast amount of
accurately drawn illustrations in this encyclopedia dwarfed the amount of infor-
mation provided in previous Chinese encyclopedias, making it a valuable work in
the history of Chinese literature (Needham 1954).
2.4 Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》by Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟) (AD 1639) 27

2.4 Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》by Xu Guang-qi


(徐光啟) (AD 1639)

The book Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》authored by Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟,


AD 1562–1633) was published in the 12th year (AD 1639) of Era Chongzhen (崇
禎) of the reign of Emperor Sizong (思宗) of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644).
The book contains manufacturing technologies for ancient agriculture and many
aspects of people’s livelihood. Figure 2.4 shows the cover page and original
preface, printed by Rei Shu-sen (任樹森), a publisher in the Qing Dynasty (清朝)
(AD 1644–1971) in 1837 (Xu 1837). There are 50 mechanisms with illustrations in
Nong Zheng Quan Shu, as listed in Table 2.1. The contents and historical back-
ground of this book are introduced as follows:

2.4.1 Contents

This book can be roughly divided into two parts: agricultural policies and agri-
cultural technologies, including 60 volumes in 12 sections (Shi 1981). The details
of each section are as follows:
1. Nong Ben 《農本》(origin of agriculture, 3 volumes)
2. Tian Zhi 《田制》(farm measure system, 2 volumes)
3. Nong Shi 《農事》(farm work, 6 volumes)
4. Shui Li《水利》(irrigation, 9 volumes)
5. Nong Qi《農器》(farming tools, 4 volumes)
6. Shu Yi 《樹藝》(food crops cultivation, 6 volumes)
7. Can Sang 《蠶桑》(sericulture)
8. Can Sang Guang Lei《蠶桑廣類》(other related matters in sericulture,
2 volumes)
9. Zhong Zhi《種植》(plant cultivation, 4 volumes)
10. Mu Yang《牧養》(husbandry, 1 volume)
11. Zhi Zhao《製造》(food production, 1 volume)
12. Huang Zhen《荒政》(disaster policies, 18 volumes)

Fig. 2.4 Cover page and original preface of Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全》(Xu 1837)
28 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

It summarized all the ancient agricultural experiences and technologies with


more than 200 books as references. In addition to introducing ancient Chinese
farm tools and devices, the book also added a number of mechanical inventions
from the West.
Unlike Nong Shu《農書》in Sect. 2.1 which was a pure technological agri-
cultural book, this book emphasizes on the philosophy of the agricultural policies
on a nation wide basis. This feature helps the book stand out from other large
agricultural books. The two sections of the book, Shui Li《水利》(irrigation) and
Huang Zhen《荒政》(disaster policies) account for most of its content. The for-
mer discusses reclamation, irrigation, and other basic elements of agriculture. The
latter summarizes floods, droughts, plagues of insects, saving food to prepare for
coming droughts, and related rescue plans and policies in the past dynasties. This
book has a deep influence on the agriculture policies of later generations (Zhang
and Wang 1992).

2.4.2 Historical Background

The author of Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》is Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟) from


Shanghai (上海). His adult name is Zi Xiang (子先) and pseudonym is Xuan Hu
(玄扈). He was born in the 41st year (AD 1562) of Era Jiajing (嘉靖) of the reign
of Emperor Shizhong (世宗) and died in the 6th year (AD 1633) of Era Chongzhen
(崇禎) of the reign of Emperor Sizong (思宗) of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–
1644). He was appointed as an assistant minister, an official who teaches the
princesses, and the other government officials. Xu conducted several large-scale
trials and wrote many agricultural books about planting methods and cultivation
technologies. He partnered with western Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (利瑪竇),
Sabatino de Ursis (熊三拔), et al., to translate several foreign books, such as Taixi
Shufa 《泰西水法》(Hydraulic machinery of the West). Therefore, Nong Zheng
Quan Shu《農政全書》contained several western farming tools recorded in Taixi
Shufa《泰西水法》.
In 1521–1566, the troops in the capital needed a large amount of food that had
to be transported from downstream of the Yangtze River (長江). This action not
only costs a lot of time but also a large amount of money. In order to consolidate
national defense and stabilize people’s livings, Xu advocated opening up the vast
abandoned wastelands in the northwest. As a result, the opening up of wasteland
and irrigating then became an important issue. Therefore, Nong Zheng Quan
Shu《農政全書》contains almost one half of the book’s content relating to
agricultural policies, and the other half documenting agricultural technologies
(Zhang and Wang 1992).
2.5 Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》 29

2.5 Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》


by Ortai, et al. (鄂爾泰等人)

The book Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》was completed in the 7th
year (AD 1742) of Era Qianlong (乾隆) in the reign of Emperor Gaozong (高宗) of
the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644–1971). Scholar Ortai (鄂爾泰) (AD 1677–1754), Zhang
Ting-yu (張廷玉) (AD 1672–1755) and 40 other people compiled this book by the
emperor’s orders. Figure 2.5 shows the cover page and original preface, printed by Fu
Wen Bureau (富文局) in 1902 (Ortai et al. 1902). There are 46 mechanisms with
illustrations in Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao, as listed in Table 2.1. The contents and
historical background of this book are introduced as follows:

2.5.1 Contents

Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》collected and reorganized over


400 types of ancient agricultural literature. The book mainly emphasized crops
production, while other topics are also covered including forestry, logging, fishery,
etc. It has 78 volumes with over 500 related illustrations and can be divided into
eight categories (Ortai et al 1965). Each category is outlined as follows:

2.5.1.1 Tian Shi Men 《天時門》

Tian Shi《天時》refers to the periods and seasonal changes during which crops’
growth must be monitored. This part summarizes the farmers’ activities in the
different solar cycles (節氣) in a year.

Fig. 2.5 Cover page and original preface of Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao 《欽定授時通考》
(Ortai et al. 1902)
30 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

2.5.1.2 Tu Yi Men 《土宜門》

This category includes identifying directions, choosing locations, measuring


dimensions of farms, irrigation, etc., integrating irrigation and drought prevention
experiences together.

2.5.1.3 Gu Zhong Men 《穀種門》

This category discusses the origins, characteristics of species, and cultivation


methods, etc. A variety of food crops, such as rice, grain, wheat, beans, millet, and
others are also described.

2.5.1.4 Gong Zuo Men 《功作門》

This category records the tools needed in every production cycle, from plowing to
storing, and their operating tools and methods.

2.5.1.5 Quan Ke Men 《勸課門》

This category records the agricultural orders and policies from past dynasties.

2.5.1.6 Xu Ju Men 《蓄聚門》

This category discusses the storage space for crops and their storage systems
against natural disasters, related policies, and other matters.

2.5.1.7 Nong Yu Men《農餘門》

This category accounts for most of the contents of the book, recording agricultural
production, such as fruit trees, vegetables, lumber, economic crops, husbandry,
and other sub-agricultural occupations.

2.5.1.8 Can Sang Men 《蠶桑門》

This category records sericulture, silk reeling, and other various matters.
Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》is a well-organized and com-
prehensive masterpiece. In the beginning of every category, the compilers col-
lected related literature from past dynasties and quoted those authors’ words from
there. Most of the quotes are production experiences accumulated from different
2.5 Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao《欽定授時通考》 31

areas. This book not only has instructional and promotional functions to a variety
of industries in the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644–1971), but it has also deeply influ-
enced agricultural production and study of agriculture (Yi 1981).

2.5.2 Historical Background

Emperor Gaozong (高宗, 清朝乾隆皇帝, AD 1711–1799) on one side promul-


gated a variety of regulations and adopted a series of policies focusing on agri-
culture in order to enforce his ruling power. On the other side, he ordered his
officials to compile a huge number of books intended to foster achievements in
culture and education. During his reign, he ordered officials to compile more than
120 kinds of books, making him stand out from the other emperors of the past
dynasties. Besides compiling books, he also encouraged the study of agriculture,
farming and sericulture, as well as promoting agricultural knowledge and tech-
nologies. He ordered that the people be taught about the farming calendar, and he
requested all farmers to follow the “farming season” to plow and do other farming
activities. Because the compilation of this book was supported by the government,
the collections and compilation of literature are more comprehensive than before.
Also, the books selected by the compilers when compared with the ones selected
by individuals are also different. In general, this book is not only a reference book
for agricultural study, but it also is an important instructional textbook for gov-
ernment officials to learn how to supervise the people’s production (Yi 1981).

References

Jia SX (Late Wei Dynasty) (1968) Qi Min Yao Shu (in Chinese) Taiwan Commercial Press,
Taipei. 《齊民要術》;賈思勰[宋朝]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1968年。
Mao YY (Ming Dynasty) (2001) Wu Bei Zhi (in Chinese), Henan Education Press, Henan. 《武
備志》;茅元儀[明朝]撰,海南出版社,海南,2001年。
Needham J (1954) Science and civilisation in China, vol 5, Part 7. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge
Ortai et al. (Qing Dynasty) (1902) Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao (in Chinese) Fu Wen Bureau.
《欽定授時通考》;鄂爾泰[清朝]等編,富文局,1902年。
Ortai et al. (Qing Dynasty) (1965) Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao (in Chinese). Taiwan
Commercial Press, Taipei. 《欽定授時通考》;鄂爾泰[清朝]等編,收錄於四庫全書珍本(王
雲五主編),台灣商務印書館,台北,1965年。
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai. 《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Shi SH (1981) Annotation of Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese), Ming Wen Bookstore, Taipei.
《農政全書校注》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,石聲漢校注,明文書局,台北,1981年。
Song YX (Ming Dynasty) (1930) Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Hua Tung Book Company,
Shanghai. 《天工開物》;宋應星[明朝],華通書局,上海, 1930年。
32 2 Mechanisms with Illustrations in Ancient Books

Sun EZ, Sun SC (1966) Chinese technology in the seventeenth century. Dover Publications,
New York
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1924) Nong Shu (in Chinese) Shan-Cheng Printing Bureau, Jinan.
《農書》;王禎[元朝]撰,善成印務局,濟南,1924年。
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1991) Nong Shu (in Chinese) written by. Zhonghua Book Company,
Beijing. 《農書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Wang ZC (2004) Quick review Ancient Chinese Art of War (in Chinese). Blue Sky Publishing
House, Beijing. 王兆春,速讀中國古代兵書,藍天出版社,北京,2004年。
Xu GQ (Ming Dynasty) (1837) Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese) printed by Rei Shu-sen (Qing
Dynasty). Gui Province. 《農政全書》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,任樹森[清朝]刻印,貴州,1837年。
Yi QH (1981) Summary of Shou Shi Tong Kao. China Agriculture Press, Beijing (in Chinese). 伊
欽恒,授時通考輯要,農業出版社,北京,1981年。
Zhang XP, Wang XM (1992) The 100 most influential books in China. Guangxi People
Publishing House, Guangxi (in Chinese). 張秀平、王曉明,影響中國的一百本書,廣西人民
出版社,廣西,1992年。
Chapter 3
Mechanisms and Machines

Abstract A mechanism consists of mechanical members and joints in a pre-


scribed way. A machine comprises one or more mechanisms, a power input, and
an adequate control system, with an effective work output. This chapter presents
the basic definitions of mechanisms and machines, characteristics of mechanical
members and joints, representations of joints for mechanisms in ancient books,
definitions of (generalized) kinematic chains, and the concept of constrained
motion, for the presentations in the follow-up chapters.

3.1 Basic Definitions

A mechanism is an assembly of mechanical members connected by joints, and


these members are so formed and connected to transmit constrained motions. The
topological structure of a mechanism or mechanism structure in short, refers to
the types and the numbers of mechanical members and joints, as well as their
adjacency and incident relationships.
A mechanism can be classified as a planar or spatial one by its moving space.
When a mechanism is in motion, if every point on its mechanical members keeps
the same distance with a certain plane, it is a planar mechanism. Figure 3.1 shows
an animal-driven mill from the book Tian Gong Kai Wu (Song 1983). The animal
force moved the wheel shaft, encircled by a belt made from animal hide or a big
rope. This was then connected to the upper portion of the mill. When the wheel
turned, the rope drove the mill to work. It consists of the frame, a wheel, a rope,
and a mill. The wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint. The rope is
connected to the wheel and the mill with wrapping joints. The mill is connected to
the frame with a revolute joint. All moving points of the mechanism are in the
same plane, so this is a planar mechanism.

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 33
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_3,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
34 3 Mechanisms and Machines

Fig. 3.1 A planar


mechanism—an animal-
driven mill (Song 1983)

If there is one point whose moving track is a spatial curve in operation, then this
is a spatial mechanism. Figure 3.2 shows the mechanism of a wooden shield
wagon that was used in ancient wars (Mao 2001). It can be divided into two parts
including the roller device and the shield device. The function of the roll device is
to move the wagon. The shield device that has a defense function consists of the
frame, a connecting link, a rope, and a shield. The rope ties the connecting link and
the shield directly. The joint between the connecting link and the frame must help
the solders to move the shield easily in the y and z axes to resist the enemies’
rocks. Apparently, this is a spatial mechanism.
A machine is a piece of equipment, mechanical in nature, designed for pro-
ducing an effective work output or for conserving mechanical energy. In general, it
consists of one or more mechanisms, has a certain type of power input, and has an
adequate control system in order to serve a special purpose or perform a special
function. Every mechanism and machine has a structural member called frame. It is
used to guide the motions of some members, to transmit force, or to bear weights.
Typical machines are working machines that convert mechanical energy to effec-
tive work outputs, such as machine tools, forklifts, and generators. Prime movers
like internal combustion engines, turbines, and electric motors are also machines
that transform other forms of energy (such as wind, heat, water, electricity, and so
on) into mechanical energy as the driving power of the working machines.
Machines should have suitable controlling devices, such as human power control,
hydraulic control, pneumatic control, electric control, electronic control, computer
control, etc for effectively producing the required motion and work.
3.1 Basic Definitions 35

Fig. 3.2 A spatial


mechanism—a wooden
shield wagon (Mao 2001)

Figure 3.3 shows a type of ancient Chinese water lifting machine called Jiao Ta
Fan Che (腳踏翻車, a foot-operated paddle blade machine) (Pan 1998). It is
powered by man and consists of the frame (member 1, KF), an upper sprocket with
a long shaft and paddles (member 2, KK1), a lower sprocket (member 3, KK2), and a
chain (member 4, KC). The upper sprocket is connected to the frame with a
revolute joint. The chain is connected to the upper and lower sprockets with
wrapping joints. The lower sprocket (not shown in the figure) is connected to the
frame by a revolute joint.

3.2 Mechanical Members

Mechanical members or just members in short, are resistant bodies that collec-
tively form mechanisms and machines. They can be rigid members, flexible
members, or compression members. Compression members (such as airs or fluids)
and those for the purpose of fastening two or more members together (such as
shafts, keys, and rivets) that play no role in the reconstruction designs of ancient
36 3 Mechanisms and Machines

Fig. 3.3 A foot-operated paddle blade machine (Pan 1998)

mechanisms are not of interest here. Only those members whose function is to
provide possible relative motion with others are presented.
There are numerous types of members. The following are functional descrip-
tions of basic members of mechanisms.

3.2.1 Link

A link (KL) is a rigid member for holding joints apart and for transmitting motions
and forces. Generally, any rigid member is a link. Links can be classified based on
the number of incident joints. A singular link is one with one incident joint.
A binary link is one with two incident joints. A ternary link is one with three
incident joints. A Li-link is one with i incident joints. Graphically, a link with
i incident joints is symbolized by a shaded, i-sided polygon with small circles on
the vertices indicating incident joints. Figure 3.4a shows the schematic represen-
tations of a singular link, a binary link, and a ternary link.

3.2.2 Slider

A slider (KP) is a link that has either rectilinear or curvilinear translation. Its
purpose is to provide a sliding contact with a connected member. A wind box is a
3.2 Mechanical Members 37

Fig. 3.4 Schematic representations of members. a Links. b Sliders. c Roller. d Cam. e Gear.
f Screw. g Belt/thread/rope. h Chain. i Spring

blower using human power to generate the oscillating motion of the piston. The
piston is a rectilinear slider. Figure 3.4b shows the schematic representations of a
rectilinear slider and a curvilinear slider.

3.2.3 Roller

A roller (KO) is a link to provide a rolling contact with a connected member. A


typical wheel is basically a roller. Figure 3.4c shows the schematic representation
of a simple roller.
38 3 Mechanisms and Machines

3.2.4 Cam

A cam (KA) is an irregularly shaped link that serves as a driving member and it
imparts a prescribed motion to a driven link called follower (KAf). The trigger of an
ancient Chinese crossbow is a typical cam mechanism, and it can be dated back to
the 6th century BC (Zhang et al. 2004). Besides, Lian Ji Shui Dui (連機水碓, a
water-driven multiple pestle), Ji Li Gu Che (記里鼓車, a hodometer), Shui Yun Yi
Xiang Tai (水運儀象台, a water-driven armillary sphere and celestial globe) …
etc., have used cam mechanisms to produce prescribed motions. Figure 3.4d shows
the typical schematic representation of a cam.

3.2.5 Gear

Gears (KG) are links that are used, by means of successively engaging teeth, to
provide positive motion from a rotating shaft to another that rotates, or from a
rotating shaft to a body that translates. Based on the material used, ancient Chinese
gears can be divided into three classes: bronze, iron, and wood. Metal gears can be
dated back to the nineteenth century BC. Wooden gears may be earlier than metal
gears, but they usually rot and can not be conserved. Devices for grinding grains
and irrigation mostly have wooden gears. Their shapes resemble a large wheel
with its outer ring fitted with several wooden pins in order to transmit motion.
However, some of the more sophisticated devices, such as Ji li Gu Che (記里鼓車,
a hodometer) and Zhi Nan Che (指南車, a south-pointing chariot), are made from
bronze and iron gears. Metal gears can be divided into four types: ratchet wheels,
herringbone gears, equilateral triangle gears, and rounded gears (Needham 1954;
Liu 1962). Figure 3.4e shows the schematic representation of a typical gear.

3.2.6 Screw

Screws (KH) are used for transmitting motions in a smooth and uniform manner.
They may also be thought of as linear actuators that transform rotary motion into
linear motion. Before the Ming Dynasty (AD 1,368−1,644), there was no record in
ancient Chinese literature about any inventions or applications of screws or spiral
devices, nor were they found in related excavated objects. Confirmed descriptions
about screws or spiral devices were found after AD 1,600, when Mateo Ricci came
to China. It is no doubt that those devices have been influenced by Western
technology and civilization. The bamboo dragonfly, an ancient Chinese children’s
toy, is an application of the spiral principle. Similarly, Long Wei Che (龍尾車,
Archimedean screw) is also an application of screws and spirals. Figure 3.4f
shows the schematic representation of a screw.
3.2 Mechanical Members 39

3.2.7 Belt/Thread/Rope

Belts/threads/ropes (KT) are tension members for power transmissions and con-
veyors. They obtain their flexibility from materials distortion, and motion is
usually transmitted by means of friction between the belts/threads/ropes and their
corresponding pulleys/wheels (KU). These flexible members were widely used in a
variety of primitive industries in ancient China, such as various types of textile
mechanisms, grain processing devices, Zao Jing (鑿井, a cow-driven well-drilling
rope drive), Mo Chuang (磨床, a rope drive grinding device for jade processing),
Shui Pai (水排, a water-driven wind box), etc. Among them, Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳
踏紡車, a foot-operated spinning device) is a typical flexible connecting mecha-
nism that combines the transmission of belts and threads, to complete the work of
reeling several sets of yarns on the spindles. Figure 3.4g shows the schematic
representation of a belt/thread/rope and a pulley/wheel.

3.2.8 Chain

Chains (KC) are also tension members for power transmissions and conveyors.
They are made from small rigid parts that are joined in such a manner as to permit
relative motion of the parts, and the motion is usually transmitted by positive
means, such as sprockets (KK). In the 10th century BC, ancient China started to
use chains to hold horses, to link pots with lids, and as lifting beams for containers.
However, chains at that time did not serve a function for actual transmitting.
Chains that are really applied into transmitting motions, are usually seen in water
lifting devices such as Fan Che (翻車, a paddle blade machine). However, the
representative application of chains are revealed in the part of the Shui Yun Yi
Xiang Tai (水運儀象台, a water-driven armillary sphere and celestial globe),
called Tian Ti (天梯). It serves to transmit force from the main shaft to the gear box
of the armillary sphere. Figure 3.4h shows the schematic representation of a chain
and a sprocket.

3.2.9 Spring

Springs (KSp) are flexible members. They are used for storing energy, applying
forces, and making resilient connections. For different purposes and based on the
materials used, ancient Chinese springs can be classified into four classes: bronze,
iron, wood, and bamboo. Ancient padlocks provide opening and locking functions
by applying the elasticity of flat metals to coordinate with the keys. They are a
classic ancient Chinese design for spring applications. Another example is the case
of ancient bows. They are composed of several pieces of different materials from
40 3 Mechanisms and Machines

wood in order to produce better flexibility and improve the shooting range of bolts.
The elasticity of bamboo is widely used in textile mechanisms, such as Xie Zhi Ji
(斜織機, a foot-operated slanting loom), Ti Hua Ji (提花機, a drawloom for
pattern-weaving) and Tan Mian (彈棉, a cotton loosing device). Figure 3.4i shows
the schematic representation of a typical spring.

3.3 Joints

In order for mechanical members to be useful, they must be connected by certain


means. That part of a member that is connected to a part of another member is
called a pairing element. Two elements that belong to two different members and
are connected together form a joint.
Joints are categorized according to the degrees of freedom, the type of motion,
the type of contact, and the type of joints. These features are introduced as follows:

3.3.1 Degrees of Freedom

The number of degrees of freedom is the number of independent parameters


needed to specify the relative positions of the pairing elements of a joint. An
unconstrained pairing element has six degrees of freedom including three trans-
lational and three rotational degrees of freedom. When a pairing element connects
to another pairing element and forms a joint, a constraint is imposed and the
motion of the original member is reduced by one or more degrees of freedom.
Hence, a joint has a maximum of five degrees of freedom and a minimum of one
degree of freedom. The topic on degrees of freedom and constrained motion will
be further discussed in Sect. 3.7.

3.3.2 Type of Motion

The type of motion refers to the motion of a point on a pairing element relative to
another pairing element of a joint. The motion can be rectilinear or curvilinear,
planar or curved, or spatial.

3.3.3 Type of Contact

Point contacts, line contacts, and surface contacts are the types of contact between
two pairing elements.
3.3 Joints 41

3.3.4 Type of Joints

In what follows, the functional descriptions of basic joints are introduced and the
corresponding schematic representations of joints are shown in Table 3.1.

3.3.4.1 Revolute Joint

For a revolute joint (JR), the relative motion between two incident members is the
rotation about an axis. It has one degree of freedom with a circular motion and a
surface contact.

3.3.4.2 Prismatic Joint

For a prismatic joint (JP), the relative motion between two incident members is the
translation along an axis. It has one degree of freedom with a rectilinear motion
and a surface contact.

3.3.4.3 Rolling Joint

For a rolling joint (JO), the relative motion between two incident members is a
pure rolling without slipping. It has one degree of freedom with a cycloid motion
and a line contact.

3.3.4.4 Cam Joint

For a cam joint (JA), the relative motion between two incident members is the
combination of rolling and sliding. It has two degrees of freedom with a curvilinear
motion and a line contact.

3.3.4.5 Gear Joint

For a gear joint (JG), the relative motion between two incident members is the
combination of rolling and sliding. It has two degrees of freedom with a curvilinear
motion and a line contact.
Table 3.1 Representations of joints (Yan and Wu 2006; Yan and Hsiao 2010; Hsiao et al. 2011; Chen 2010)
42

Type of joints Schematic representations Joint representation 1 Joint representation 2


Revolute joint Z JR JRx

y
x

Prismatic joint Z JP JPx

y
x

Cylindrical joint Z JC Px
JRx

y
x

Warping joint Z JW –

x
y

Rolling joint Z JO –

y
x

(continued)
3 Mechanisms and Machines
Table 3.1 (continued)
Type of joints Schematic representations Joint representation 1 Joint representation 2
Cam joint 1 Z 2 Z JA –
3.3 Joints

x y x y

Gear joint Z Z JG –

x y
x y

Spherical joint Z JS JRxyz

x y

(continued)
43
Table 3.1 (continued)
44

Type of joints Schematic representations Joint representation 1 Joint representation 2


Pin joint JJ Planar: Py
JRx
Spatial: Py
JRxz
or Pxy
JRxz

Bamboo joint – JBB

Thread joint – JT

Fixed revolute joint


3 Mechanisms and Machines
3.3 Joints 45

3.3.4.6 Screw Joint (Helical joint)

For a screw joint (JH), the relative motion between two incident members is helical.
It has one degree of freedom with a curvilinear motion and a surface contact.

3.3.4.7 Cylindrical Joint

For a cylindrical joint (JC), the relative motion between two incident members is
the combination of a rotation about an axis and a translation parallel to the same
axis. It has two degrees of freedom with curvilinear motion and surface contact.

3.3.4.8 Spherical Joint

For a spherical joint (JS), the relative motion between two incident members is
spherical. It has three degrees of freedom with a spherical motion and a surface
contact.

3.3.4.9 Pin Joint

For a pin joint (JJ), the relative motion between two incident members can be
planar or spatial. If the motion is planar, it will have two degrees of freedom with
the circular motion and the line contact. If spatial, it will have three or four degrees
of freedom with the circular motion and the line contact as well.

3.3.4.10 Wrapping Joint

For a wrapping joint (JW), there is no relative motion between two incident mem-
bers. However, one of the members (pulley or sprocket) is a circle and rotates about
its center. The degree of freedom of a wrapping joint can be considered as one.

3.4 Representations of Joints

In order to analyze and represent ancient mechanisms, this work follows the
representations of mechanical members according to the definition of mechanisms
(Yan and Wu 2006). Through the study of mechanisms in ancient books, the joints
of ancient mechanisms can be classified into three types, including the types of
joints that are easy to identify such as gear joints and wrapping joints, the types of
46 3 Mechanisms and Machines

joints that are uncertain, and the types of joints that are certain but rare in modern
mechanisms. Since some special joints in ancient mechanisms can not be repre-
sented by traditional schematic representations of joints in modern mechanisms, a
representation for such joints in ancient mechanisms is needed (Yan and Hsiao
2010; Hsiao et al. 2011; Chen 2010).
Since an unconstrained pairing element has six degrees of freedom including
three translational and three rotational degrees of freedom, a joint is represented as:
P
JRxyz
xyz

in which superscript Pxyz denotes that it can be translated as a prismatic joint (JP)
along the x, y and z axes; and, subscript Rxyz denotes that it can rotate as a revolute
joint (JR) about the x, y and z axes. When a pairing element connects to another
pairing element and forms a joint, a constraint is imposed and the motion of the
original member is reduced by one or more degrees of freedom. Hence, a joint has
a maximum of five degrees of freedom and a minimum of one degree of freedom.
For example, a joint denoted as JRx represents that a pairing element of a joint can
rotate about the x-axis with respect to the other pairing element, as shown in
Fig. 3.5a. A joint denoted as JPx represents that a pairing element of a joint can
translate along the x-axis with respect to the other pairing element, as shown in
Fig. 3.5b. A joint denoted as JRPxx represents that a pairing element of a joint not
only translates along the x-axis but also rotates about the x-axis with respect to the
other pairing element, as shown in Fig. 3.5c.
Figure 3.6a shows a two-member mechanism with a joint from the book Tian
Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》(Pan 1998). Since the illustration is not clear, the link
(KL) is connected to the frame (KF) with an uncertain joint. Considering the type
and the direction of motion of the link, the joint has three possible types. First, the
link rotates about the z-axis only, denoted as JRz. Second, the link not only rotates
Px
about the z-axis but also translates along the x-axis, denoted as JRz . Third, the link
not only rotates about the y and z axes but also translates along the x and z axes,
Pxz
denoted as JRyz . The x and y axes are defined as the horizontal and vertical
directions in the illustration, respectively. The z-axis is determined by the right-
hand rule.

(a) (b) (c)


Px z
J Rx z J P
J Rxx z

y y y
x x x

Fig. 3.5 Examples of representation of joints


3.4 Representations of Joints 47

Fig. 3.6 Special joints in ancient illustrations (Pan 1998)

Thread and bamboo often appear as members in ancient illustrations especially


in textile and agricultural devices. Figure 3.6b shows that a bamboo (KBB) is
connected to the frame (KF) and the thread (KT), from the book Tian Gong Kai Wu
《天工開物》(Pan 1998). The bamboo is firmly fixed to the frame and the thread
ties the bamboo directly. The bamboo possesses elasticity and can go back to the
original position after using. The motion of the bamboo is similar to the revolute
with respect to the frame as a fixed pivot. The joint incident to the bamboo and the
frame is defined as a bamboo joint, denoted as JBB. A bamboo joint in a planar
mechanism has the same kinematic characteristics as a revolute joint. A bamboo
joint in a spatial mechanism has the same kinematic characteristics as a spherical
joint.
Using a thread tying a member to form a joint is rare in modern mechanisms but
familiar in ancient illustrations. The joint incident to the thread and a member is
defined as a thread joint, denoted as JT. For a thread joint in a planar mechanism,
its characteristic is the same as a revolute joint. For a thread joint in a spatial
mechanism, its characteristic is the same as a spherical joint. The schematic
representations and symbols of common joints are listed in Table 3.1.

3.5 Mechanism Sketch

The structural sketch of a mechanism or a mechanism sketch in short is a simple


diagram to denote the connection relationships among mechanical members and
joints. Since physical objects or assembly drawings of devices are complicated to
48 3 Mechanisms and Machines

analyze mechanism characteristics, schematic representations called skeletons or


mechanism sketches, are often used to describe the relative adjacent relationships
and positions among members.
Mechanism sketches are two different kinds: structural sketch and kinematic
sketch. A structural sketch focuses on the topological structure of a mechanism. It
only needs to clearly state the connection relations among the members and joints
without caring about the dimension of each member. A kinematic sketch should
follow the dimensions of the physical object or the assembly drawing. Under a
prescribed proportion of a scale, a kinematic sketch displays the relative positions
of each member and joint. In the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms in
historical books, the key point is to realize the connections between members and
joints. Therefore, the structural sketch can be used as a tool to state the mechanism
structure clearly.
A mechanism sketch uses simple lines and symbols to replace the real shapes of
the members and joints. Some data, such as shafts, keys, pins, bearings, section
lines, or others that are irrelevant to the topological structure, do not need to appear
in a sketch.
There are no regular rules to formulate schematic representations, only if the
topological structure or the motion relation can be clearly stated. Schematic rep-
resentations of common members and joints are shown in Fig. 3.4 and listed in
Table 3.1. Some general sketch rules are introduced as follows:
1. Symbols of members are coded by numbers such as 1, 2, 3, etc. It can also
include the types of members. For example, the symbol of a fixed member (the
frame) is KF, a link is KL, a slider is KP, etc.
2. A fixed member (frame) is always coded by number 1, and there are parallel
slashes under it, as shown in Fig. 3.4j.
3. Figure 3.4k shows members i and j are the same member, and member k is
connected to it.
4. If two unconnected members cross each other on a sketch, a half circle is used
for connecting the two sides of the member on the cross point, as shown in
Fig. 3.4l.
5. An uncertain joint is symbolized as a small solid black circle.
Figure 3.1 shows the mechanism of an animal-driven mill. Its structural sketch
is shown in Fig. 3.7. Figure 3.2 shows the mechanism of a wooden shield wagon.
The structural sketches of the roller device and the shield device are shown in
Figs. 3.8a−b, respectively.

Fig. 3.7 Structural sketch of


an animal-driven mill
3.5 Mechanism Sketch 49

Fig. 3.8 Structural sketch of


a wooden shield wagon. a
Roller device. b Shield
device

3.6 Mechanisms and Generalized Kinematic Chains

When several links are connected together by joints, they are said to form a link
chain or just a chain in short. An (NL, NJ) chain refers to a chain with NL links and
NJ joints.
A walk of a chain is an alternating sequence of links and joints beginning and
ending with links, in which each joint is connected to the two links immediately
preceding and following it. For example, for the (5, 4) chain shown in Fig. 3.9a,
link 1—joint b—link 4—joint d—link 3—joint d—link 4 is a walk. A path of a
chain is a walk in which all the links are distinct. For example, for the (5, 4) chain
shown in Fig. 3.9a, link 1—joint b—link 4—joint d—link 3 is a path. If any two
links of a chain can be joined by a path, the chain is said to be connected;
otherwise the chain is disconnected. Figure 3.9a shows a (5, 4) disconnected chain
with a separated link (link 5), and Fig. 3.9b shows a (5, 5) connected chain with a
singular link (link 5). If every link in the chain is connected to at least two other
links, the chain forms one or several closed loops and is called a closed chain.

Fig. 3.9 Types of (link) chains and mechanisms


50 3 Mechanisms and Machines

A connected chain that is not closed is an open chain. A bridge-link in a chain is a


link whose removal results in a disconnected chain. Figure 3.9c shows a (6, 7)
closed chain with a bridge-link (link 4). The connected chain shown in Fig. 3.9b is
also an open chain.
A kinematic chain generally refers to a movable chain that is connected,
closed, without any bridge-link, and with revolute joints only. If one of the links in
a kinematic chain is fixed as the frame (KF), it is a mechanism. Figure 3.9d shows
a (6, 7) kinematic chain, and Fig. 3.9e shows its corresponding mechanism
obtained by frame link 1 in the chain. A rigid chain refers to an immovable chain
that is connected, closed, and without any bridge-link. If all joints have one degree
of freedom in Fig. 3.9f, it is a (5, 6) rigid chain.
A generalized kinematic chain consists of generalized links connected by
generalized joints, i.e., the types of links and joints are not specified. For example,
if the types of links and joints of the (6, 7) kinematic chain shown in Fig. 3.9d are
not specified, it becomes a (6, 7) generalized kinematic chain. A generalized joint
is a general type of joint, and it could be revolute, prismatic, spherical, helical, or
other types of joints (Yan 1998, 2007). A joint with two connected members is
called a simple generalized joint. A joint with more than two connected members
is called a multiple generalized joint. Graphically, a generalized joint with NL
incident members is symbolized by NL-1 small concentric circles. Figures 3.10a–b
show a generalized joint with two and three incident members, respectively. In
addition, Fig. 3.10a is a simple generalized joint, and Fig. 3.10b is a multiple
generalized joint.
A generalized link is a link with generalized joints; it can be a binary link,
ternary link, quaternary link, etc. Graphically, a generalized link with NJ incident
joints is symbolized by a shaded NJ-sided polygon with small circles as vertices.
Figures 3.10c–e show a binary, a ternary, and a quaternary generalized link,
respectively.
In theory, the atlas of various (NL, NJ) generalized kinematic chains can be
synthesized by the algorithms of number synthesis of modern kinematics.
However, as for this work that introduces the systematic reconstruction designs of

Fig. 3.10 Representations of


(a) (b)
generalized joints and links

(c) (d) (e)


3.6 Mechanisms and Generalized Kinematic Chains 51

ancient mechanisms in historical books, the atlases are available from the Refer-
ences (Yan and Wu 2006; Yan 1998, 2007). Figures 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15,
3.16, 3.17, 3.18, 3.19, 3.20, 3.21 show some important atlases of generalized
kinematic chains.

Fig. 3.11 Atlas of (3, 3)


generalized kinematic chain

Fig. 3.12 Atlas of (4, 4)


generalized kinematic chain

Fig. 3.13 Atlas of (4, 5)


generalized kinematic chain

Fig. 3.14 Atlas of (5, 5)


generalized kinematic chain

Fig. 3.15 Atlas of (5, 6)


generalized kinematic chains

Fig. 3.16 Atlas of (5, 7)


generalized kinematic chains
52 3 Mechanisms and Machines

Fig. 3.17 Atlas of (6, 7)


generalized kinematic chains

Fig. 3.18 Atlas of (6, 8)


generalized kinematic chains

Fig. 3.19 Atlas of (7, 8) generalized kinematic chains

3.7 Constrained Motion

The number of degrees of freedom (F) of a mechanism determines how many


independent inputs the design must have in order to fulfill a useful engineering
purpose. A mechanism with a positive number of degrees of freedom and with the
same number of independent inputs has constrained motion. Constrained motion
means that when any point on an input member of the mechanism is moved in a
prescribed way, all other moving points of the mechanism have uniquely deter-
mined motions.
3.7 Constrained Motion 53

Fig. 3.20 Atlas of (7, 9) generalized kinematic chains

3.7.1 Planar Mechanisms

For planar mechanisms, a member has three degrees of freedom consisting of


translational motions along two mutually perpendicular axes and one rotational
motion about any point. The number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of a planar
mechanism with NL members and NJi joints of type i is:
X
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJi Cpi ð3:1Þ

where Cpi is the number of degrees of constraint of i-type joint. The numbers of
degrees of constraint of various types of joints are listed in Table 3.2.
Example 3.1 Calculate the number of degrees of freedom for the animal-driven
mill shown in Fig. 3.1.
This is a planar mechanism with four members, two revolute joints, and two
wrapping joints. Therefore, NL = 4, CpRy = 2, NJRy = 2, CpW = 2, and NJW = 2.
Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
54 3 Mechanisms and Machines

Fig. 3.21 Atlas of (8, 10) generalized kinematic chains


3.7 Constrained Motion 55

Table 3.2 Degrees of freedom and constraint of joints


Type of joints Degrees of Cpi Csi Type of Degrees of Cpi Csi
freedom joints freedom
Revolute joint 1 2 5 Gear joint 2 1 4
Prismatic joint 1 2 5 Spherical joint 3 None 3
Cylindrical joint 2 1 4 Pin joint Planar: 2 1 None
Spherical: 3 or 4 None 3 or 2
Warping joint 1 2 5 Bamboo joint Planar: 1 2 None
Spherical: 3 None 3
Rolling joint 1 2 None Thread joint Planar: 1 2 None
Cam joint 2 1 4 Spherical: 3 None 3

   
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRy CpRy  NJW CpW
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ð2Þð2Þ  ð2Þð2Þ
¼ 98
¼ 1
Therefore, the motion of this mechanism is constrained.
Example 3.2 Calculate the number of degrees of freedom for an animal-driven
cylinder wheel shown in Fig. 3.22 (Liu 1962). The animals drive the horizontal
gear, and the motion is transmitted from the gear train to rotate the water wheel to
scoop water. The vertical gear has no relative motion to the water wheel as an
assembly.
This is a planar mechanism with three members (members 1, 2, 3) and three
joints consisting of two revolute joints (a and c) and one gear joint (b). Therefore,
NL = 3, CpRy = 2, NJRy = 1, CpRx = 2, NJRx = 1, CpG = 1, and NJG = 1. Based on
Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRy CpRy þ NJRx CpRx þ NJG CpG
¼ ð3Þð3  1Þ  ½ð1Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð1Þ
¼ 65
¼ 1
Therefore, the motion of this mechanism is constrained.
Example 3.3 Calculate the number of degrees of freedom for the trigger mech-
anism in an ancient Chinese crossbow shown in Fig. 3.23 (Mao 2001). It is used to
hook the tense bowstring for stable shooting. The shooter presses the input link
(member 2) to drive the percussion link (member 3) to release the bowstring. The
frame (member 1) is not shown in the figure.
This is a planar mechanism with four members (frame, member 1; input link KI,
member 2; percussion link KPL, member 3; and connecting link KL, member 4) and
five joints consisting of three revolute joints (JRz; a, b, and e) and two cam joints
56 3 Mechanisms and Machines

Fig. 3.22 An animal-driven cylinder wheel (Liu 1962)

Fig. 3.23 Trigger


mechanism of an ancient
Chinese crossbow (Mao
2001)

(JA; c and d). Therefore, NL = 4, CpRz = 2, NJRz = 3, CpA = 1, and NJA = 2. Based on
Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRz CpRz þ NJA CpA
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ½ð3Þð2Þ þ ð2Þð1Þ
¼ 98
¼ 1

Therefore, the motion of this mechanism is constrained.


3.7 Constrained Motion 57

3.7.2 Spatial Mechanisms

For spatial mechanisms, a member has six degrees of freedom consisting of


translational motions along three mutually perpendicular axes and three rotational
motions about these axes. The number of degrees of freedom, Fs, of a spatial
mechanism with NL members and NJi joints of type i is:
Fs ¼ 6ðNL  1Þ  RNJi Csi ð3:2Þ

where Csi is the number of degrees of constraint of i-type joint. The numbers of
degrees of constraint of various types of joints are listed in Table 3.2.
Example 3.4 Calculate the number of degrees of freedom for the shield device in a
wooden shield wagon shown in Fig. 3.2.
This is a spatial mechanism with four members, two thread joints, and one
Px Px
spatial joint JRyz . Since the spatial joint JRyz allows the connecting link to translate
along the x-axis and rotate about the y and z axes with respect to the frame, the
number of degrees of constraint of the joint is 3. Therefore, NL = 4, CsT = 3, NJT =
2, CsS = 3, and NJS = 1. Based on Eq. (3.2), the number of degrees of freedom, Fs,
of this mechanism is:

Fs ¼ 6ðNL  1Þ  ðNJT CsT þ NJS CsS Þ


¼ ð6Þð4  1Þ  ½ð2Þð3Þ þ ð1Þð3Þ
¼ 18  9
¼ 9

The function of the device is to move the shield to resist rocks through the
operation of the connecting link. It is still workable although the number of
degrees of freedom is more than the independent input.
Example 3.5 Calculate the number of degrees of freedom for the ancient Chinese
mill for removing rice hulls shown in Fig. 3.24 (Wang 1968).
Since the threads are designed for the purpose of providing an efficient input
through human power and are symmetrical, this device can be analyzed as a spatial
mechanism with four members (the frame KF, member 1; the thread KT, member 2;
the horizontal bar with the connecting link KL1, member 3; and the crank with the
mill stone KL2, member 4). There are four joints consisting of two thread joints (JT;
joint a and joint b) and two revolute joints (JRy; joint c and joint d). Therefore,
NL = 4, CsT = 3, NJT = 2, CsRy = 5, and NJRy = 2. Based on Eq. (3.2), the number of
degrees of freedom, Fs, of this mechanism is:
 
Fs ¼ 6ðNL  1Þ  NJT CsT þ NJRy CsRy
¼ ð6Þð4  1Þ  ½ð2Þð3Þ þ ð2Þð5Þ
¼ 18  16
¼ 2
58 3 Mechanisms and Machines

Fig. 3.24 An ancient


Chinese mill (Wang 1968)

This is still a useful device, since the rotation of member 2 about the axis
through the centers of the thread joints a and b is an extra degree of freedom that
does not affect the input–output relationship of the system.

3.8 Summary

A mechanism consists of mechanical members connected by joints so that it can


produce a prescribed relative motion. Mechanical members are resistant bodies for
transmitting motions and forces. To make members useful, they must be suitably
connected by joints. The types and numbers of members and joints, and the
incidences between them characterize the mechanism structure.
The joints in ancient mechanisms are classified into three categories: types of
joints that are certain, types of joints that are uncertain, and unusual types of joints
(compared to the joints in modern mechanisms). Through the proposed schematic
representations, the mechanisms and joints in ancient illustrations can be sym-
bolized clearly, for the follow up reconstruction work.
When several links are connected together by joints, they are said to form a
chain, that can be connected or disconnected, closed or open. A kinematic chain
refers to a movable chain that is connected, closed, without any bridge-link, and
with revolute joints only. A generalized kinematic chain is composed of gen-
eralized joints and generalized links, and the types of its links and joints are not
specified.
The number of degrees of freedom of a mechanism determines how many
independent inputs the mechanism must have in order to fulfill a useful
3.8 Summary 59

engineering purpose. In general, a device with a positive number of degrees of


freedom and with the same number of independent inputs is a mechanism with
constrained motion.
The atlases of generalized kinematic chains listed in this chapter provide the
necessary database for the generation of all feasible design concepts, i.e., mech-
anism structure, of ancient mechanisms in historical books based on the proposed
methodology that will be presented in Chap. 5.

References

Chen YH (2010) Reconstruction designs of mechanisms with drawings in three ancient Chinese
agriculture books (in Chinese). Master thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Cheng Kung University, Tainan. 陳羽薰,三本古中國農業類專書中具圖畫機構之
復原設計,碩士論文,國立成功大學機械工程學系,台南,2010年。
Hsiao KH, Chen YH, Tsai PY, Yan HS (2011) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese foot-
operated slanting loom. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part C J Mech Eng Sci 225:2685–2699
Liu XZ (1962) History of inventions in Chinese mechanical engineering (in Chinese), 1st edn.
Science Press, Beijing. 劉仙洲,中國機械工程發明史 - 第一編,科學出版社,北京,1962年。
Mao YY (Ming Dynasty) (2001) Wu Bei Zhi (in Chinese), Henan Education Press, Henan. 《武
備志》;茅元儀[明朝]撰,海南出版社,海南,2001年。
Needham J (1954) Science and civilisation in China, vol 5, part 7. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai. 《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Song YX (Ming Dynasty) (1983) Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Taiwan Commercial Press,
Taipei. 《天工開物》;宋應星[明朝],台灣商務印書館,台北,1983年。
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1968) Nong Shu (in Chinese) Taiwan Commercial Press, Taipei. 《農
書》;王禎[元朝]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1968年。
Yan HS (1998) Creative design of mechanical devices. Springer, Singapore
Yan HS (2007) Reconstruction designs of lost ancient Chinese machinery. Springer, Netherlands
Yan HS, Hsiao KH (2010) Structural synthesis of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Adv Mech Design Syst Manuf Japan Soc Mech Eng 4(4):773–784
Yan HS, Wu LI (2006) Mechanisms (in Chinese), 3rd edn. Dong Hua Books, Taipei. 顏鴻森、吳
隆庸,機構學,第三版,東華書局,台北,2006年。
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of inventions in Chinese mechanical
engineering (in Chinese), 2nd edn. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing. 張春輝、游戰洪、吳
宗澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年。
Chapter 4
Ancient Chinese Machinery

Abstract There were numerous mechanical inventions in ancient China. This


chapter introduces the historical development of ancient Chinese machinery and
presents major mechanical members and mechanisms in ancient times, such as
linkage mechanisms, cam mechanisms, gear mechanisms, and flexible connecting
mechanisms (belts, ropes, and chains).

4.1 Historical Development

Based on operating principles, the materials used, the power sources given and the
design and manufacturing technology available, ancient Chinese machinery before
the 15th Century can be divided into the following three periods (Yan 2007; Lu
and Hua 2000; Lu 2003).

4.1.1 Old Stone Age (~400,000–500,000 BC) to New Stone


Age (~2,500 BC)

This was the period of a primitive society in ancient Chinese history. It started
from around the Old Stone Age about *400,000–500,000 years ago, to the New
Stone Age some 4,000–5,000 years ago.
No matter in what ethnic group, the invention and development of machinery
always begin with simple designs. In this period, the mechanical devices were
primarily simple tools. Natural materials such as stones, wooden clubs, seashells,
and animal bones were hammered, modified, polished, and cut manually, turning
them into stone knives and axes. With these simple labor-saving tools, people were

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 61
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_4,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
62 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

able to perform work that cannot be done using only the bare hands. The tools
evolved into simple devices such as primitive weaving mechanisms and potter’s
wheel heads. These simple mechanical devices were used in agriculture, fishing,
hunting, weaving, and construction work.
In this period, people applied the principles of lever, wedge, inertia, elasticity,
as well as the thermal expansion and contraction of materials.

4.1.2 New Stone Age (~2,500 BC) to Eastern Zhou


Dynasty (~550 BC)

This was the period of slavery in ancient Chinese history, lasting from around the
New Stone Age 4,000–5,000 years ago to the Spring-Autumn and Warring Periods
of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty around 2,500 years ago.
As demands developed, people combined simple tools with simple devices into
complex machinery to achieve more intricate objectives. For example, the scissors
are a combination of the wedge and lever. Regarding the materials used in
machinery, in addition to wood, bronze and iron were also widely used during this
period. Furthermore, simple pulley blocks, levers, wheels, winches, and bolts were
developed into complex machinery such as chariots and weapons. The book Kao
Gong Ji《考工記》 (Zheng 1989) during the Warring Periods (480–220 BC)
compiled the manufacturing experiences of many kinds of handicraft, and it also
showed the level of manufacturing of the craftsmen in those times.

4.1.3 Eastern Zhou Dynasty (~550 BC) to Ming Dynasty


(AD 1,368–1,644)

This was the period of feudal society, starting from the early Warring Period
approximately 2,500 years ago until the Ming Dynasty (AD 1,368–1,644).
During the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD
220), the development of machinery in ancient China was at its prime. The
technology level of metallurgy, foundry and forgery was high, especially when its
rapid development led to the widespread use of metals. The motion and force
transmission of some mechanical devices applied links, levers, gears, ropes, belts,
and chains. Moreover, some mechanical devices were even equipped with gear
trains and automatic control devices. There were also major innovations in agri-
cultural and weaving machinery, as well as in land and sea transportation. It can be
seen from the copper horse chariots found inside the Qin Imperial Tomb (221–207
BC) that the technology of metal working was superlative. The water-driven wind
box that appeared in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25–220) was composed of a
water wheel, a rope and belt transmission, a link and lever transmission, and a
4.1 Historical Development 63

wind box. The device included three basic parts of modern machines, namely, the
power source, the transmission mechanism, and the working machine. This period
also featured outstanding scholars and inventors such as Zhang Heng (張衡), Ma
Jun (馬鈞), Zu Chong-zhi (祖沖之), Yan Su (燕肅), Wu De-ren (吳德仁), Su Song
(蘇頌), and Guo Shou-jing (郭守敬). They contributed immensely to the devel-
opment of machinery in ancient China.
However, except for weaponry and shipbuilding, there were almost no
important inventions in mechanical technology during the several hundred years
from the Ming Dynasty (AD 1,368–1,644) to the Opium War (AD 1,842).

4.2 Linkage Mechanisms

A linkage mechanism is an assemblage of links to transform types and directions


of motions, coordinate required state of motions, guided rigid bodies, or generate
motion paths (Yan and Wu 2006).
Ancient China has a very long history in the use of links (lian gan) and linkage
mechanisms, but their exact dates of use cannot be validated from the literature
and artifacts. Furthermore, the term “lian gan” (連桿, link) is seldom used in
ancient manuscripts. Instead, qu bing (曲柄, crank), gang gan (槓桿, lever) or hua
jian (滑件, slider) are common. In the modern viewpoint, they all refer to “link”.
The earliest application of links appeared in the Old Stone Age. In the begin-
ning, it was just a simple crank or lever, but later levers were interconnected to
form link-lever mechanisms to enhance working efficiency. The development of
links and link-lever mechanisms was from simple to complex and was applied to a
variety of mechanical devices, such as agricultural devices, handicraft devices, and
astronomical clocks, etc.

4.2.1 Shadoof

The application of a lever in ancient China was recorded approximately in 1,700


BC. Yi Yin (伊尹), a minister during the Shang Dynasty (1,766–1,122 BC),
invented the shadoof namely Jie Gao (桔槔) that was used for irrigation and for
drawing water.
Shadoof is a device that uses the lever principle to draw water, Fig. 4.1a (Pan
1998). A big tree or stand beside the well is made the support, i.e., the frame
(member 1, KF) and a lever arm (member 2, KL1) is placed on the support. One end
of the arm is connected to the connecting link (member 3, KL2), and the other end
of the lever arm is tied to a rock to balance the weight. The connecting link is
hooked on a water bucket (member 4, KB) falls down into the well when drawing
water. Figures 4.1b and c show the corresponding structural sketch and chain,
respectively.
64 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

Fig. 4.1 Shadoof, a Original (a)


illustration (Pan 1998),
b Structural sketch, c Chain

(b) Jβ KL1(2) Jα
(c) J KL 2 (3) Jβ
Rx

KL 2 (3) KB (4) KL1 (2)


KF (1)
JRx
KB(4) Jα
KF (1)

The earliest records of the shadoof is in the book Zhuang Zi 《莊子》. (Zhuang
1993).
1. Zhuang Zi Chapter 12 of Wai Pian Tian Di 《莊子 · 外篇天地第十二》

“Zi Gong traveled south to Chu State. When he passed by Hanyin, he saw a man in the
field who dug a well and went inside it carrying a water jar. The man spent a lot of energy
but accomplished little work. Zi Gong said, ‘There is a device that irrigates a vast area of
vegetation. Little effort is needed but the accomplishment is enormous. Why not try it?’
The man asked about the device, and Zi Gong said, ‘Make a mechanism using wood, and
make the rear heavier than the front. The device can draw so much water, and it is called
the shadoof.’” 『子貢南遊于楚,反于晉。過漢陰,見一丈人,方將為圃畦。鑿隧而入井,
抱甕而出灌。搰搰然用力甚多而見功寡。子貢曰,有械于此,一日浸百畦,用力甚寡而
見功多,夫子不欲乎?為圃者仰而視之曰:奈何?曰:鑿木為機,后重前輕,挈水若抽,數如
泆湯,其名為桔槔。』

2. Zhuang Zi Chapter 14 of Tian Yun《莊子·天運篇十四》

“Yan Yuan asked Shi Jin, ‘Have you ever seen a shadoof? If you pull, it comes down. If
you let go, it goes up.’” 『顏淵問師金曰:子獨不見桔槔者?乎引之則俯,舍之則仰。』
4.2 Linkage Mechanisms 65

Furthermore, in books Qi Min Yao Shu 《齊民要術》 (Jia 1968) and Nong
Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》 (Xu 1968), the shadoof was a primarily water
irrigating mechanism. Besides being mentioned in technology specific books, the
shafoof also appeared in other kinds of illustrations, such as Wu Liang Shrine (武
梁祠) in the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) and Geng Zhi Tu (耕織圖, paintings
about plowing and weaving) by Jiao Bing-zhen (焦秉貞) during the Qing Dynasty
(AD 1,644–1,911).

4.2.2 Jie Chi (界尺)

Jie Chi (界尺, an ancient Chinese device for drawing parallel lines) is a tradi-
tional drawing tool used for drawing parallel lines, as shown in Fig. 4.2a. It
consists of upper and lower rulers of equal lengths joined by hinges to two bronze
plate levers of equal lengths. When the lower ruler is set, moving the bronze levers
would cause the upper ruler to become parallel to the lower ruler. Figures 4.2b and
c show the corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.
This device is a planar mechanism consisting of four members (1, 2, 3, and 4)
and four revolute joints (JRz; joints a, b, c, and d). Therefore, NL = 4, CpRz = 2, and
NJRz = 4. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this
mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRz CpRz
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ½ð4Þð2Þ
¼98
¼1

Fig. 4.2 Jie Chi (界尺), (a)


b Upper ruler (3) c
a Real object, b Structural
sketch, c Chain

y 2 4
x
a d
z Lower ruler (1)

(b) (c)
b
3
3
JRz JRz
2 c

4
2 4
a d
JRz JRz
KF (1) KF (1) 1
66 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

4.2.3 Drill Device

A drill device is a carpenter’s tool used to drill holes in ancient China. Figure 4.3a
shows the mode of handling the drill device (Hommel 1937). It consists of the
frame (member 1, KF), an input link (member 2, KL1), a long thread 1 (member 3,
KT1), a bitstock (member 4, KL2), and a short thread 2 (member 5, KT2). The input
link and the bitstock are made of Chinese black wood. The two threads are made of
hemp. The steel bit is driven into a square wooden block and the block is inserted
at the bottom of the bitstock. A brass sleeve is covered on the upper bitstock and
used as a handgrip. There is a hollow space between the bitstock and the brass
sleeve. Therefore, the bitstock can be rotated about the axis through the brass
sleeve and the steel bit. Since the brass sleeve is held by hand, it can be considered
as the frame.
When pushing the input link, the two ends of thread 1 wound onto the bitstock
will unwind while thread 2 will be wound onto the bitstock. The other end of
thread 2 is tied in a hole of the input link. Therefore, the bitstock will revolve back
and forth when the input link is pulled back and forth. Figures 4.3b and c show the
corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.

(a)

KL1 (2) b
(b) c (c)
KT1 (3) 2
KT2 (5) JT JT
e JW
JW 5 3
KL2(4)
(4) d
JW JW
a 4
1 JRy
KF (1)

Fig. 4.3 A drill device, a Real object (Hommel 1937), b Structural sketch, c Chain
4.2 Linkage Mechanisms 67

This device is a spatial mechanism consisting of five members (1, 2, 3, 4, and


5), one revolute joint (JRy; joint a), two thread joints (JT; joints b and c), and two
wrapping joints (JW; joints d and e). Therefore, NL = 5, CsRy = 5, NJRy = 1,
CsT = 3, NJT = 2, CsW = 5, NJW = 2. Based on Eq. (3.2), the number of degrees of
freedom, Fs, of this mechanism is:
 
Fs ¼ 6ðNL  1Þ  NJRy CsRy þ NJT CsT þ NJW CsW
¼ ð6Þð5  1Þ  ½ð1Þð5Þ þ ð2Þð3Þ þ ð2Þð5Þ
¼ 24  21
¼3
This is still a useful device, since the rotation of members 3 and 5 about these
axes are two extra degrees of freedom that do not affect the input–output relation
of the system.

4.2.4 Water Wheel Lever Escapement Mechanism


in Su Song’s Clock Tower

Su Song’s clock tower reflected ancient Chinese achievements in both astronomy


and mechanics during the 11th century. This outstanding mechanical design
included the water wheel power device, the two-level noria device, the two-level
float device, the water wheel lever escapement mechanism, the programmable cam
mechanism, and the time-telling device. The mechanisms and mechanical mem-
bers used included links, gears, chains, ratchets, cams, hinges, and sliding bear-
ings. Among the mechanisms, the escapement regulator was made up of the
driving wheel, the left and right upper locks, the upper stopping device, the upper
balancing lever, the upper weight, the connecting rod, and the upper stopping
tongue, as shown in Fig. 4.4a. The driving wheel transformed the potential energy
from the water level to drive the entire machine, and acted as the escape wheel as
well. This invention already had the functions and capabilities of the escapement
regulators of modern mechanical clocks.
The book Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao《新儀象法要》written by Su Song (蘇頌, AD
1,020–1,101) in 1,088–1,096 (Su 1969), documented in detail the structure,
components, and diagrams of the motion and structure of the water-powered clock
tower. It clearly describes how the water wheel lever escapement worked in unison
to perform the isochoric and intermittent timekeeping function. It enabled the
escapement regulator using the water wheel to be handed down to future gener-
ations. The structure and the movement of the device are described in the book as:
“An upper balancing lever was mounted above the driving wheel, with a metal
axle installed at the center of the lever. “Camel backs” were mounted on the cross-
bar, on which were two metal plates. The metal axle was installed in between these
metal plates, thus enabling the upper balancing lever to rotate freely. An upper
68 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

Driving Wheel 樞輪

(a)
Iron pin 鐵撥牙

Water-withdrawing tank

Upper stopping device 天關

Upper balancing lever (2)


a

Upper weight

Connecting rod (3)


Right upper lock 右天鎖 Left Upper lock 左天鎖 Lower balancing lever

Lower weight
Frame (1)
d

c Upper stopping tongue (4) 關舌

Frame
y
Checking fork 格叉
x
z

(b) JRz (c)


KL1 (2)
3
JT JT JT

KF (1)
KT (3) 2 4
JT JRz

JRz JRz
KL2 (4)
1
KF (1)

Fig. 4.4 Water wheel lever escapement mechanism in Su Song’s clock tower, a Original
illustration (Su 1969), b Structural sketch, c Chain

weight was hung at one end of the upper balancing lever, while an upper stopping
device was connected to the other end. A chain-like connecting rod was connected
to the right of the upper balancing lever, between the axle and the upper weight.
4.2 Linkage Mechanisms 69

The length of the connecting rod was determined by the position (height) of the
driving wheel. There was an upper stopping tongue with a metal axle connected to
its end. The axle was mounted on a cross-bar in the north–south direction of the
stand holding the constant-level tank, allowing it to rotate freely. The front end of
the stopping tongue was connected to the end of the connecting rod; when the
stopping tongue turned downward, the upper stopping device would be pulled
upward. There were also left and right upper locks, with axles connected at the end
of the locks. Axles were installed at the cross-bars on the two left and right posts.
The left and right upper locks were installed in opposite directions to check and
release the driving wheel.” 『天衡一,在樞輪之上中為鐵關軸於東天柱間橫桄
上,為馳峰。植兩鐵頰以貫其軸,常使轉動。天權一,掛於天衡尾;天關一,掛於
腦。天條一(即鐵鶴膝也),綴於權裏右垂(長短隨樞輪高下)。天衡關舌一,末為
鐵關軸,寄安於平水壺架南北桄上,常使轉動,首綴於天條,舌動則關起。左右天
鎖各一,末皆為關軸,寄安左右天柱橫桄上,東西相對以拒樞輪之輻。』
The upper balancing mechanism is a linkage mechanism that applied the lever
principle. It consists of the frame (member 1, KF), an upper balancing lever with an
upper weight (member 2, KL1), a connecting rod (member 3, KT), and an upper
stopping tongue (member 4, KL2). Figures 4.4b and c show the corresponding
structural sketch and chain of the upper balancing mechanism, respectively.
This is a planar mechanism consisting of four members (1, 2, 3, and 4), two
revolute joints (JRz; joints a and d), and two thread joints (JT; joints b and c).
Therefore, NL = 4, CpRz = 2, NJRz = 2, CpT = 2, and NJT = 2. Based on Eq. (3.1),
the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRz CpRz þ NJT CpT
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ½ð2Þð2Þ þ ð2Þð2Þ
¼98
¼1

There are 22 linkage mechanisms with illustrations in the ancient books


described in Chap. 2.

4.3 Cam Mechanisms

A simple cam mechanism consists of three basic parts: the frame, a cam, and a
follower. A cam is an irregularly shaped mechanical member that usually serves as
a driving link by rotating with a constant velocity and imparting motion through
direct contact to a driven link called a follower, that in turn moves in a desired
motion. A cam (KA) is connected to the follower (KAf) and the frame (KF) with a
cam joint (JA) and a revolute joint (JR), respectively. A follower is connected to the
frame with a revolute joint or a prismatic joint (JP). It is usually driven to move
with varying speeds in a non-continuous and irregular motion. Figures 4.5a and b
70 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

show the structural sketch of a simple cam mechanism and its corresponding
chain, respectively.
Cam mechanisms had been used fairly early in ancient China. About 600 BC, the
trigger mechanism of the crossbow was an intricate cam-shaped swing arm. Hence,
the invention of the cam may be traced back to the Spring-Autumn and Warring
Periods (770–222 BC). Figure 4.6a shows a bronze trigger mechanism found in the
excavation site of Changan City (長安城) of the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC) (秦朝),
now Xian City in Shanxi Province (陝西省西安市). Figures 4.6b–d show the cor-
responding original illustration, structural sketch, and chain of the trigger mecha-
nism, respectively.

Fig. 4.5 A simple cam


mechanism (a) (b) c
JA KAf (3) Follower
JA

Cam KA (2) 2 3
JP
JR JR
a JR b
KF (1) 1 JR

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

JRz KPL (3)

KF (1)
JA JA JA
JRz JRz 4
KL (4)
JA 3 JRz 2
KF (1) KF (1) 1
KI (2) JRz JRz

Fig. 4.6 A bronze trigger mechanism, a Real object (Xu 2007), b Original illustration (Mao
2001), c Structural sketch, d Chain
4.3 Cam Mechanisms 71

(a)

(b)
JA

2 3

JRx
Rx
JRx
Rx
1

Fig. 4.7 A water-driven pestle, a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Chain

Cam mechanisms also appeared in water-driven pestles. The publication Huan


Zi Xin Lun《桓子新論》during the latter part of the West Han Dynasty (206 BC–
AD 8) records a water-driven pestle that “…used water to pestle…” 『…役水而
舂…』 (Huan 1967).
Complex water-driven pestles appeared as early as the Jin Dynasty (晉朝, 265–
420 AD). The book Jin Zhu Gong Zan《晉諸公讚》 (Jin 1972) states: “Du Yu and
Yuan Kai constructed water-driven pestles.” 『杜預、元凱作連機水碓』 There
are also many records of water-driven pestles in the literature of the later periods.
Figure 4.7a shows a water-driven pestle described in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu
(Pan 1998). This is a typical simple cam mechanism with three members and three
joints. The water wheel is connected to a long shaft with paddles as an assembly
(member 2). When water drives the water wheel, the cam effect on the assembly
causes the tilted hammers (member 3) to produce work. Member 2 is connected to
the frame (member 1) with a revolute joint (JRx; joint a). The paddle is connected
to one end of the tilted hammer with a cam joint (JA; joint c). The tilted hammer is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint (JRx; joint b). Figure 4.7b shows its
corresponding chain.
This device is a planar mechanism consisting of three members (1, 2, and 3),
two revolute joints (JRx; joints a and b), and one cam joint (JA; joint c). Therefore,
NL = 3, CpRx = 2, NJRx = 2, CpA = 1, and NJA = 1. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number
of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRx CpRx þ NJA CpA
¼ ð3Þð3  1Þ  ½ð2Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð1Þ
¼65
¼1
72 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

The bell and gong mechanism on the hodometer (記里鼓車) is also a cam
mechanism. The Yu Fu Zhi of the book Song Shi《宋史∙與服志》 (Tuo 1983)
describes such a mechanism as: “The shaft of the big outer wheels has two metal
paddles; the horizontal wooden shaft has a paddle each.”『外大平輪軸上有鐵撥
子二,又木橫軸上有撥子各一。』. In the book Nong Shu《農書》 (Wang 1968),
the description of the transmission of the vertical wheel of the water-driven wind
box, that used a cam device, is similar to that of the water-driven pestle.
Other machinery like the wood figurine clock inside the water-driven astro-
nomical devices by the monk Yi-Xing (一行) and Liang Ling-zhan (梁令瓚) during
the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–906), the spurs inside the water-powered armillary
sphere and celestial globe, the automated alarm inside the five-wheel sand-driven
clock, and the movement of the paper figures inside the revolving lantern, all
employed cam mechanisms.
There are two cam mechanisms including the water-driven pestle and the
vertical-wheel water-driven wind box in the ancient books described in Chap. 2.
However, the vertical-wheel water-driven wind box has the text without the
illustration.

4.4 Gear Mechanisms

Gears are machine parts, operating in pairs, that transmit motion and force from
one rotating shaft to another, by means of successively engaging projections called
teeth, producing a constant velocity ratio by direct contact. When two or more
gears mesh for the purpose of transmitting motion from one shaft to another, the
gear set is called a gear train. Figure 4.8a shows the structural sketch of a simple
gear train with one degree of freedom consisting of the frame (member 1, KF), a
driving gear (member 2, KG1), and a driven gear (member 3, KG2). The motion and
power of the driving shaft are transmitted directly from the driving gear to the
driven gear that in turn drives the driven shaft. The two gears are connected by a
gear joint (JG; joint c), and both are connected to the frame with a revolute joint
(JR; joint a and joint b). Figure 4.8b shows its corresponding chain.
Based on excavated objects, the earliest metallic gears in ancient China may be
traced back to the 19th century BC. There might have been wooden gears in earlier
periods, but the materials could have rotted from age. Figure 4.9 shows a bronze
gear found in Taosi (陶寺), an archaeological site of the Longshan culture (龍山文
化), in Xiangfen County (襄汾縣) of Shanxi Province (山西省). This gear is
obtained from the owner of a small tomb and cannot assured whether it served the
purpose of transmitting motions and forces. For complex transmitting gear systems,
they had appeared no later than the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) (Lu 2003).
Although there are many excavated ancient metallic gears, there has never been
any record of their appearance or invention in ancient manuscripts. Generally,
gears were referred to as ji lun (機輪), lun he ji chi (輪合幾齒), and ya lun (牙輪),
as in the examples below:
4.4 Gear Mechanisms 73

Fig. 4.8 A simple gear


mechanism

Fig. 4.9 A bronze gear


(photoed in Beijing Capital
Museum)

1. Song Shi. Chapter 80 of Lu Li Zhi《宋史∙卷八十律曆志》 (Tuo 1983)

“… below was a ji lun (gear wheel) with 43 spurs connecting; no human power was
necessary …”『… 其下為機輪四十有三,鉤鍵交錯相持,不假人力 …』

2. Yuan Wen Lei. Chapter 50 of Guo Shou-jing Xing Zhuang《元文類∙卷五十郭


守敬行狀》 (Su 1962)

“… 25 small and large wooden ji lun (gears), where the teeth connected with one another
…”『… 大小機輪凡二十有五,皆以木刻為沖牙轉相援擊 …』

3. Ming Shi. Chapter 25 of Tian Wen Zhi《明史∙卷二十五天文志》 (Zhang


1993)

“In the early Ming Dynasty, Zhan Xi-yuan used a water-driven device but it froze during
winter, so he replaced water with sand … the five wheels bore 30 teeth …” 『明初詹希元
以水漏至嚴寒水凍輒不能行,故以沙代水 … 其五輪惡三十齒 …』

The term gear did not exist during the ancient periods. It appeared only in the
literature of the late Qing Dynasty (AD 1,644–1,911). During this time, Chinese
mechanical technology has already been influenced by the West.
Ancient Chinese gears can be classified based on their functions as power
transmission and motion transmission. Gear mechanisms for motion transmission
were primarily used in south pointing chariots, hodometers, and inside astronomical
74 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

and clock instruments. However, there has never been any actual item with this type
of application passed down or excavated.
Gear mechanisms for power transmissions were primarily used in changing the
speed and/or direction of the power source such as human power, animal power,
wind power, or water power to produce the required output work. Such designs
were often seen in water-driven agricultural machines that did not require high
accuracy and speed. Consequently, wood was used as material, and the shape of
the teeth was insignificant. They were similar to the pin gears of today.
In what follows, some applied examples of ancient Chinese gear mechanisms
for power transmissions are presented.

4.4.1 Water-Driven Grinder

Figure 4.10a shows a water-driven grinder that was widely used during the
Northern and Southern Dynasties (AD 386–589) (Liu 1962). It is a food-processing
device to grind grain. In the device, water rotates the vertical water wheel with a
long shaft, that sets two other vertical gears. The direction of the power is changed
to vertical by a gear train to drive the two output grinders rotating simultaneously.
Since each of the two gear trains has the same allocation, using only one set is
sufficient for analysis. This water-driven grinder is a mechanism with three
members and three joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a vertical gear with
long shaft (member 2, KG1), and a horizontal gear with grinder (member 3, KG2).
The vertical gear is connected to the frame with revolute joints JRx. The horizontal
gear is connected to the frame with revolute joints JRy. The meshing activity among
the gears can be considered as a gear joint JG. Figures 4.10b and c show the
corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.
This device is a planar mechanism consisting of three members (1, 2, and 3),
two revolute joints (JRx and JRy), and one gear joint (JG). Therefore, NL = 3,
CpRx = 2, NJRx = 1, CpRy = 2, NJRy = 1, CpG = 1, and NJG = 1. Based on Eq. (3.1),
the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRx CpRx þ NJRy CpRy þ NJG CpG
¼ ð3Þð3  1Þ  ½ð1Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð1Þ
¼65
¼1

4.4.2 Water-Driven Mill and Animal-Driven Mill

A mill is also a food-processing device to remove the chaff of grains. According to


different power sources, it needs to use a gear train to transfer the transmission
direction. Figure 4.11a shows a water-driven mill that was driven by a vertical
4.4 Gear Mechanisms 75

(a)

(b) (c) c

KG2 (3) JG JG

KG1 (2) 2 3

JRy a J
Rx JRy b
1
JRx
KF (1)

Fig. 4.10 A water-driven grinder, a Original illustration (Wang 1968), b Structural sketch,
c Chain

water wheel to produce an output rotation in the vertical direction through a gear
mechanism (Lu and Hua 2000). Figure 4.11b shows a horizontal animal-driven
mill that was driven by animals to produce an output rotation in the same direction
through a simple gear train (Lu and Hua 2000).

4.4.3 Cow-Driven Paddle Blade Machine

The book Nong Shu《農書》 (Wang 1968) has a detailed introduction of a water-
driven and a cow-driven paddle blade machines that use gears to transmit power.
Furthermore, the cow-driven paddle blade machine can also be seen in paintings
of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907). The books Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》
(Pan 1998) and Nong Zheng Quan Shu《農政全書》 (Xu 1968) also have dis-
cussions about this device. Figure 4.12a shows a type of cow-driven paddle blade
machine from the book Nong Shu《農書》 (Wang 1968). The machine is driven
by a horizontal large gear (member 2, KG1) to drive the vertical small gear
(member 3, KG2) to produce the rotating motion of the horizontal shaft. Then the
76 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

Fig. 4.11 Mills, a A water-driven mill (Lu and Hua 2000), b An animal-driven mill (Lu and Hua
2000)

rotating motion is passed to the sprockets and chain (member 4, KC) to draw water.
The upper sprocket is connected to the horizontal shaft and the small gear as an
assembly. The lower sprocket (member 5, KK) is connected to the frame and the
chain. Figures 4.12b and c show the corresponding structural sketch and chain,
respectively.
This device is a planar mechanism consisting of five members (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5),
three revolute joints (a, c, and f), one gear joint (b), and two wrapping joints (d and
e). Therefore, NL = 5, CpRy = 2, NJRy = 1, CpRx = 2, NJRx = 2, CpG = 1, NJG = 1,
CpW = 2, and NJW = 2. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom, Fp,
of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRy CpRy þ NJRx CpRx þ NJG CpG þ NJW CpW
¼ ð3Þð5  1Þ  ½ð1Þð2Þ þ ð2Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð1Þ þ ð2Þð2Þ
¼ 12  11
¼1
There are 10 gear mechanisms in the ancient books described in Chap. 2.
Among them, the wind-driven paddle blade machine has the text without the
illustration.

4.5 Rope Drives

Flexible connecting members are used when the distance between the shafts of the
driver and the follower is comparatively long. As such, linkage, cam, or gear
mechanisms are not applicable. Common types of flexible connecting members
such as belts, ropes, and chains will be a better option. The devices that are used
4.5 Rope Drives 77

Vertical small gear


(a)
Horizontal large gear

Upper sprocket

Chain
y
x

Lower sprocket

(b) (c)
KF (1)
b(JG) d(JW) c(J )
Rx

KG1 (2) KG2 (3)


a(JRy)

KC (4)
JW JG
KK (5) 4 3
JW JRx 2

5 1
f(JRx) JRx JRy
e(JW)

Fig. 4.12 A cow-driven paddle blade machine, a Original illustration (Wang 1968), b Structural
sketch, c Chain

for hoisting loads from their tension forces and/or in the transmission of motion
and power are called flexible connecting mechanisms. Basically, a flexible con-
necting mechanism consists of a flexible connecting member that rotates about a
pulley, sheave, or sprocket that is fastened to a rotating shaft. Motion and power
from the driving shaft are transmitted from the driving wheel (pulley, sheave, or
sprocket) through the flexible connecting members to drive the follower (pulley,
sheave, or sprocket) that in turn drives the driven shaft. As shown in Fig. 4.13, the
driving wheel (member 2) and the driven wheel (member 3) are both connected to
the frame (member 1) with revolute joints (JR), and are connected to the flexible
member (member 4) with wrapping joints (JW).
Ropes are softer than belts, are easily produced, and can withstand considerable
pulling force. Cords are generally used in motion transmission between two non-
78 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

Fig. 4.13 A flexible connecting mechanism

parallel shafts particularly when the axes of the shafts constantly change direc-
tions. A common application is in weaving mechanisms. In this case, the sheaves
can be rotated in any direction through the pulling of the cords as long as they have
sufficiently wide grooves. Wire ropes are suitable for long distance and high power
rate transmissions, or for long distances with irregular motion paths or power
transmission such as in cranes, and in the flight control mechanism of aircrafts.
Ancient China had various applications of flexible connecting mechanisms,
especially rope drives and chain drives, in various dynasties. In what follows, the
historical development and applications of ancient Chinese rope drives are
presented.
In English dictionaries, a rope is defined as a length of stout cord made of
strands of natural or artificial fibers twisted or braided together. The term rope also
appeared in various ancient Chinese literatures. According to Guang Qi of the
book Xiao Er Ya《小爾雅∙廣器》 (Kong 1966): “The larger one is called Suo (索,
rope), the smaller one is called Sheng (繩, cord).”『大者謂之索,小者謂之繩。』
According to Xi Ci Xia of the book Yi-Jing《易經∙繫辭下》 (Anon 1985):
“Ancient people tied knots on cords to keep record, while people during later
periods used writings to keep record.”『上古結繩而治,後世聖人易之以書
契。』 In addition, according to the book Shuo Wen《說文》 (Xu 1959): “The
cord was used to tie things together. The cord was made with hemp, while the rope
was made with dried weed.”『繩,索也。撚之令緊者也。一曰麻絲曰繩,草謂之
索。』
The use of ropes in ancient China can be traced back to the New Stone Age
over 4,000 years ago. At that time, ropes would not have functioned as power
transmission. During the Shang Dynasty around 1,300 BC, ropes for motion and
force transmission were used in pulley blocks for drawing water, agricultural
devices, and weaving mechanisms. The book Mohist Canon《墨經》 (Zhao 1966)
during the Spring-Autumn and Warring Periods (770–222 BC) explored the
relationship between the structure and stress of ropes. The rope and pulley used in
drilling salt wells appeared later in the West Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 8) at the
latest, but the invention of silk weaving and baste weaving was the earliest in
ancient China. Based on excavated wall paintings, it can be proven that cotton
spinners and relevant technologies were already available during the Han Dynasty
(206 BC–AD 220).
4.5 Rope Drives 79

4.5.1 Weaving Mechanism

The evolution of motion and force transmission by ropes in mechanisms was


closely related to the development of weaving technology in ancient China.
Primitive weaving technology that was developed from the lashing craft was
already widespread during the New Stone Age. The original weaving method
involved twisting fibers section by section until a spinning device called the Fang
Zhui (紡墜) was developed. The spinning device can be used to twist and ply. It
became an important weaving mechanism and had different types sorted by power
sources.
In the beginning, the spinning device was a single-spindle and hand-driven as
shown in Fig. 4.14a (Lu and Hua 2000). The picture was found in the wall painting
inside a tomb from the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). The main parts are the
frame (member 1, KF), the wheel with the crank (member 2, KU), the spindle
(member 3, KS), and the rope (member 4, KT). The crank is used to rotate the
wheel, the rope, and then the spindle shaft. In this way, the spindle can be turned at
high speed to spin the thread. Figures 4.14b and c show the corresponding
structural sketch and chain, respectively.
This device is a planar mechanism consisting of four members (1, 2, 3, and 4),
two revolute joints (JRz; joints a and b), and two wrapping joints (JW; joints c and
d). Therefore, NL = 4, CpRz = 2, NJRz = 2, CpW = 2, and NJW = 2. Based on
Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:

(a)
Wheel
Crank

y
Spindle x

z
Rope

(b) KU (2) KT (4) (c)


KS (3)
4
d(JW) JW JW
c(JW)
b(JRz)
a(JRz) 2 3

JRz JRz
KF (1) KF (1) 1

Fig. 4.14 A spinning device, a Original illustration (Lu and Hua 2000), b Structural sketch,
c Chain
80 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRz CpRz þ NJW CpW
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ½ð2Þð2Þ þ ð2Þð2Þ
¼98
¼1
There are 15 rope drives with illustrations in the ancient books described in
Chap. 2.

4.6 Chain Drives

When rigid link plates are pinned or hooked together to form a flexible connecting
element, it is called a chain. It must be used in conjunction with a sprocket when in
transmission to form a chain drive. For long distance transmissions, while gear
drives are not economical and belt drives have length deficiency, chains are thus
generally used in such a situation to transmit precise speed ratios.
A chain is a hard yet flexible mechanical member for motion and force trans-
mission. There are different designs and shapes of chains depending on the appli-
cations. Generally, chains are categorized as hoisting chains, conveyor chains, and
power transmission chains. Hoisting chains are used for lifting or towing. A con-
veyor chain moves the objects hung or placed on it to another place. In addition to
moving objects, the conveyor chain is also often used in low-speed force trans-
mission, such as the paddle blade machine during the East Han Dynasty (AD 25–
220) and the scoop water wheel, named Gao Zhuan Tong Che (高轉筒車) during
the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–906). The power transmission chain is used for higher
speed or higher force transmission, such as the sky ladder named tian ti (天梯)
inside Su Song’s clock tower during the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960–1127).
The earliest recorded use of the chain, without the functions of motion and
power transmission, is found in the publication General Study of Calabash
Instruments in the Shang and Zhou dynasties (1766–256 BC)《商周蠡器通考》,
named Lin Wen Calabash Pot (鱗聞瓠壺), as shown in Fig. 4.15 (Rong 1973).
There were many examples of chains used for transporting and conveying
purposes within devices in ancient China. Many of them were used in irrigation
and water-drawing machines. In what follows, the historical records and appli-
cation examples of chains and chain drives in ancient China are presented (Lu and
Hua 2000).

4.6.1 Paddle Blade Machine

The paddle blade machine contains a conveyor chain that allows continuous water-
drawing activity. It is convenient to operate and relocate and has been a widely
used as an effective irrigation or water-drawing machine since ancient times.
4.6 Chain Drives 81

Fig. 4.15 Lin Wen Calabash


Pot (鱗聞瓠壺) (Rong 1973)

Based on the source of the power, paddle blade machines can be divided into four
types: man-powered, animal-driven, wind-driven, and water-driven. All of them
have the upper and lower sprockets and conveyor chains as the main parts. The
wooden chain of the paddle blade machine is called the “dragon spine.” Its main
part is referred to as the “crane’s knee” in the book Nong Zheng Quan Shu 《農政
全書》 (Xu 1968), and it is connected by wooden pins to form a chain.
Paddle blade machines had many names, such as the dragon-spine machine,
water dragon, water machine, foot paddle machine, and water centipede. Most
manuscripts in the early periods referred to it as the paddle blade machine. Based
on literary records, the paddle blade machine was invented no later than the East
Han Dynasty (AD 25–220). The publication Zhang Rang Zhuan of Hou Han
Shu《後漢書∙張讓傳》states (Fan 1977): “In the third year of Zhongping Period
(AD 186), the eunuch Bi Lan was ordered to make four bronze men … and the
paddle blade machine and the siphon on the east side of the bridge for irrigating
the streets on the southeastern side, to save people from paying for irrigation.”『中
平三年又使掖庭令畢嵐鑄銅人四,…又作翻車,渴烏,施於橋西,用灑南北郊路,
以省百姓灑道之費。』Also, Wei Shu of Fang Ji Zhuan of the literature San Guo
Zhi《三國志∙魏書∙方技傳》has a record of Ma Jun (馬鈞) who built a paddle
blade machine (Chen 1958): “There was a smart person called Ma Jun from Fu
Feng (扶風). … The city had lands for gardening but there was no water. Ma Jun
82 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

built a device that could be operated by children to draw water. The water goes in
at one end and comes out the other. The technology of his device was significantly
more advanced than those of other mechanisms.” 『時有扶風馬鈞,巧思絕世。…
居京都,城內有地,可以為園,患無水以灌之。乃作翻車,令兒童轉之,而灌水自
覆,更入更出,其巧百倍於常。』
The book Nong Shu《農書》has a detailed record of the machine (Wang 1968):
“Fan Che was referred to as the dragon spine, that was used to irrigate farms. In
addition to the railings and banisters, the device used wood planks to form a groove
that could be as long as two zhang (丈, ancient Chinese length of 10 feet). The width
varied from four to seven cun (寸, ancient Chinese length of one tenth of a foot),
while the height was approximately one chi (尺, ancient Chinese length of foot).
Inside the groove was a conveyor, that was as wide as the groove width. It was
shorter than the groove boards by one chi and attached to the large and small wheel
axles. Paddle blades were attached to the conveyor. Four pegs were attached to the
horizontal beam, that comes out of both sides of the larger axle and was set on racks
on the bank. When a person stepped on the pegs, the conveyor with the paddle blades
moved and carried water up the bank. The device had few key elements and may be
easily constructed by a carpenter. Three devices may be used for banks three zhang
high. Water may be drawn from a small pool at the middle of the dragon spine series
to irrigate dry farms three zhang high. The device was applicable where the land was
near a water source.” 『翻車,今人謂之龍骨車也。 … 今農家用之溉田。其車之
制,除壓欄木及列檻樁外,車身用板作槽,長可二丈,闊則不等,或四寸至七寸,高
約一尺。槽中架行道板一條,隨槽闊狹,比槽板兩頭俱短一尺,用置大小輪軸,同
行道板上下通周以龍骨、板葉。其在上大軸兩端,各帶拐木四莖,置於岸上木
架之間。人憑架上踏動拐木,則龍骨、板隨轉,循環行道板刮水上岸。此車關
鍵頗少,必用木匠,可易成造。其起水之法,若岸高三丈有餘,可用三車,中間小
池倒水上之,足救三丈以上高旱之田。凡臨水地段,皆可置用。』
The books Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》(Pan 1998), Nong Zheng Quan Shu
《農政全書》 (Xu 1968), and Hui Tu Lu Ban Jing《繪圖魯班經》(Wu 1995)
contain records of the paddle blade machines. Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》
stated (Pan 1998): “When water from the lake did not flow, the wheel was turned
by a cow or by several persons using foot pedals. A longer device was approxi-
mately two zhang; a shorter device was half the size. Inside the device was a chain
of boards that were operated to push water upwards. One person’s effort in a day
could irrigate approximately five mu (畝, ancient Chinese area of acre) of land. A
cow’s effort irrigated double the area.” 『其湖池不流水,或以牛力轉盤,或聚數人
踏轉。車身長者二丈,短者半之,其內用龍骨拴串板,關水逆流而上。大抵一人
竟日之力,灌田五畝,而牛則倍之。』
Based on the way they were operated, the manually-driven paddle blade
machines were classified as either hand-operated or foot-operated. Figure 4.16a
shows a foot-operated paddle blade machine (Wang 1968). It consists of the frame
(member 1, KF), an upper sprocket with a long shaft and pegs (member 2, KK1), a
lower sprocket (member 3, KK2), and a chain (member 4, KC). Figures 4.16b and c
show the corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.
4.6 Chain Drives 83

(a)

Upper sprocket
with long shaft
y
x
z

Peg
Frame

Chain (conveyor with paddle blades)

Lower sprocket

(b) KK2 (3)


(c)
KK1 (2) 4
KC (4) JW JW

JW JW 2 3
JRx JRx

KF (1) JRx JRx


KF (1)
1

Fig. 4.16 A foot-operated paddle blade machine, a Original illustration (Wang 1968), b Structural
sketch, c Chain

4.6.2 Jin Che (井車)

The water device Jing Che (井車, a device used to draw water from water wells)
was used to draw water from water wells. It was also called a wooden dipper water
machine. The machine used wooden dippers instead of paddle blades. A series of
wooden dippers were connected by a chain, and the chain was connected to a
vertical wheel installed at the mouth of the water well. When the vertical wheel
rotated, the wooden dippers were continuously raised to scoop the water, achieving
a conveying function. Its main difference from the paddle wheel machine is that it
did not have a sprocket at the lower portion. Figure 4.17a shows a design structure
84 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

Horizontal gear
(a)
Vertical gear

y
x

z
Frame

Chain

KF (1)
d(JW) b(JG) KG1 (2)
c(JRx)

(b) KG2 (3) a(JRy) (c)


JW JG

3 2
4
KC (4)
JRx JRy
1

Fig. 4.17 A device used to draw water from water wells (井車), a Original illustration (Liu
1962), b Structural sketch, c Chain

of Jing Che (Liu 1962). Since it was not possible to use wooden paddles to scoop
water from a vertical well, a series of wooden dippers were used instead. The
dippers were connected to the large wheel on the mouth of the water well. At one
end of the wheel shaft was a vertical gear (member 3, KG2), that was connected to
a horizontal gear (member 2, KG1). An animal was used to rotate the horizontal
gear, that in turn drove the vertical gear. The vertical gear caused the large wheel
connected to the chain of dippers (member 4, KC) to move, too. In this way, the
dippers were continuously raised and water was brought up, deposited in a pan
inside the wheel and then channeled to the field. Figures 4.17b and c show the
corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.
4.6 Chain Drives 85

This is a planar mechanism consisting of four members (1, 2, 3, and 4), two
revolute joints (joints a and c), one gear joint (joint b), and one wrapping joint
(joint d). Therefore, NL = 4, CpRy = 2, NJRy = 1, CpRx = 2, NJRx = 1, CpG = 1,
NJG = 1, CpW = 2, and NJW = 1. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of
freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRy CpRy þ NJRx CpRx þ NJG CpG þ NJW CpW
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ½ð1Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð2Þ þ ð1Þð1Þ þ ð1Þð2Þ
¼97
¼2
This is still a useful device, since the rotation of member 4 about the axis is one
extra degree of freedom that does not affect the input–output relationship of the
system.
The publication Tai Ping Guang Ji《太平廣記》, an excerpt from the publica-
tion Qi Yan Lu《啟顏錄》, states (Li 1983): “Deng Xuan-ting went to burn incense
in the temple. He observed a water wheel in the orchard with several monks. The
wooden buckets were attached in a chain to draw water from the well.”『鄧玄挺入
寺行香,與諸僧詣圓觀植蔬,見水車,以木桶相連,汲于井中。』 Also, according
to the publication Jiu Tang Shu《舊唐書》(Liu 1976): “Deng Xuan-ting (鄧玄挺)
had offended during the 1st year of the Yung Chang Period (AD 689), and died in
prison.”『鄧玄挺「永昌元年得罪,下獄死。』It can therefore be inferred from
these that the water machine was already being used during the early years of the
Tang Dynasty (AD 618–906).

4.6.3 Tian Ti (天梯, Sky ladder)

There are some historical records on chain drives being used in power transmis-
sions. For example, the mercury-operated clock constructed by Zhang Si-xun (張
思訓) in AD 987 employed a chain drive to transmit power. Another example
happened in the case of the astronomical tower constructed by Su Song (蘇頌) and
Han Gong-lien (韓公廉) in the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960–1,127), since the
vertical main shaft was too long, it was replaced by a ring chain for transmission to
serve as the power source for driving the astronomical device. This device was
called Tian Ti (sky ladder). It was a typical chain drive with metallic chains for
transmitting motion and force.
Figure 4.18a shows the sky ladder in the book Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao《新儀象法
要》(Su 1969). In the device, the rotation of the driving axle was transmitted to the
upper horizontal axle through two small chain rings. This caused three gears to move
the celestial movement hoop and the sun-moon-star panel of the machine. The
original text records: “The one zhang nine chi five cun long ‘sky ladder’ was a chain
86 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

of connected metal braces. The chain was connected to the upper and lower hubs.
Every turn of the chain caused the celestial movement hoop to move a distance that in
turn caused the sun-moon-star panel to move, too.” 『天梯,長一丈九尺五寸。其法
以鐵括聯周匝上,以鰲云中天梯上轂掛之。下貫樞軸中天梯下轂。每運一括
則動天運環一距,以轉三辰儀,隨天運動。』The term Tie Gua (鐵括) in the book
refers to spare parts of the metallic chain (member 4, KC). The upper and lower hubs
refer to the small sprockets (member 2, KK1 and member 3, KK2) in the upper and
lower axles. The chain and sprockets could be used to accurately transfer force. Their
effects and those found in modern machines are entirely the same. They are actual
examples of the earliest application of chain drives in ancient China. Figures 4.18b
and c show the corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.
This device is a planar mechanism consisting of four members (1, 2, 3, and 4),
two revolute joints (joints a and b), and two wrapping joints (joints c and d).

(a)

Upper sprocket KK2 (3)


Frame KF (1)

Chain KC (4)

y
x

Lower sprocket KK1 (2) z

(b) (c)
KK1 (2) KK2 (3)
KC (4)
4
c(JW) d(JW) JW JW
a(JRx) b(JRx)

2 3

KF (1) KF(1) JRx JRx


1

Fig. 4.18 Sky ladder (天梯), a Original illustration (Su 1969), b Structural sketch, c Chain
4.6 Chain Drives 87

Therefore, NL = 4, CpRx = 2, NJRx = 2, CpW = 2, and NJW = 2. Based on Eq. (3.1),


the number of degrees of freedom, Fp, of this mechanism is:
 
Fp ¼ 3ðNL  1Þ  NJRx CpRx þ NJW CpW
¼ ð3Þð4  1Þ  ½ð2Þð2Þ þ ð2Þð2Þ
¼98
¼1

There are four chain drives with illustrations in the ancient books described in
Chap. 2.

4.7 Summary

During the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC–AD 2,20), the mechanical develop-
ment in ancient China was at its prime. Many delicate mechanical devices were
invented. Some devices have consisted of three basic parts for a modern machine
including the prime mover, the transmission mechanism, and the working
machine. Links, cams, gears, ropes, chain drives, and other mechanical members
have been widely applied in a variety of primitive industries, such as agricultural,
weaving, weaponry, and handicraft machinery. A shadoof is a linkage mechanism
applying the lever principle. It has been used for water-lifting and irrigation since
about 1,700 BC. The trigger mechanism of a crossbow wisely combines a
geometry design and kinematics principle to produce the functions of holding and
releasing the string of the crossbow. It is an application of the cam mechanism that
can be traced back to 600 BC. Metallic gears have been manufactured since 1,900
BC. In the West Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 9), some mechanical devices have
been equipped with gear trains for transmitting motion and power. Since 1,300
BC, ropes for transmitting motion have been applied into irrigation devices,
agricultural and weaving machinery. Chain drives in ancient China were used
mainly in irrigation and water-lifting devices, such as different kinds of Fan Che
(翻車, paddle blade machine) and Jin Che (井車, device used to draw water from
water wells). Furthermore, in water-driven armillary sphere and celestial globe by
Su Song (蘇頌) in the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960–1,127), Tian Ti (天梯, sky
ladder), that completes power transmission of the driving axle and armillary
sphere, is an actual example of the application of chain drives.
There are a total of 96 mechanisms that can be classified into seven types in the
ancient books described in Chap. 2, as listed in Table 4.1.
88 4 Ancient Chinese Machinery

Table 4.1 Types of mechanisms in ancient books


Books Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Nong Zheng Qin Ding Shou
Types 《農書》 《武備志》 Kai Wu Quan Shu Shi Tong Kao
《天工開 《農政全 《欽定授時通
物》 書》 考》
Roller devices 16 12 10 13 11
Linkage mechanisms 12 2 11 15 16
Cam mechanisms 2 0 1 1 1
Gear mechanisms 6 0 5 6 5
Flexible connecting 10 0 14 10 8
mechanism
Crossbows 0 2 2 0 0
Complex textile 5 0 4 5 5
devices

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《晉諸公讚》;晉傅暢[晉朝]撰,藝文出版社,台北,1972年。
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爾雅》;孔鮒[漢朝]撰,藝文出版社,台北,1966年。
Li F (Song Dynasty) (1983) Tai Ping Guang Ji (in Chinese), Taiwan Commercial Press, Taipei.
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Liu X (Eastern Jin Dynasty) (1976) Jiu Tang Shu (in Chinese). Ding Wen Publishing House,
Taipei.《舊唐書》;劉昫[東晉]撰,鼎文出版社,台北,1976年。
Liu XZ (1962) History of inventions in Chinese Mechanical Engineering, 1st edn. Science Press,
Beijing (in Chinese). 劉仙洲,中國機械工程發明史 - 第一編,科學出版社,北京,1962年。
Lu JY (2003) History of Chinese Machinery. Ancient Chinese Machinery Cultural Foundation
(Tainan, Taiwan), Yuen Yin Publishing House, Taipei (in Chinese). 陸敬嚴,中國機械史,中
華古機械文教基金會(台南,台灣),越吟出版社,台北,2003年。
Lu JY, Hua JM (eds) (2000) A history of science and technology in China—Volume of
Mechanical Engineering. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese). 陸敬嚴、華覺明主編,中國科
學技術史.機械卷,科學出版社,北京,2000年。
Mao YY (Ming Dynasty) (2001) Wu Bei Zhi (in Chinese), Henan Education Press, Henan. 《武
備志》;茅元儀[明朝]撰,海南出版社,海南,2001年。
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Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai.《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Rong G (1973) General study of calabash instruments in Shang and Zhou dynasties (in Chinese)
Supplement of Yenching Journal of Chinese Studies, vols 17 and 18. Oriental Culture
Enteprises, Taipei.商周蠡器通考,容庚,燕京學報專號,第17、18冊,東方文化,台北,1973 年。
Su S (Northern Song Dynasty) (1969) Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao (in Chinese), Taiwan Commercial
Press, Taipei. 《新儀象法要》;蘇頌[北宋]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1969年。
Su TJ (Yuan Dynasty) (1962) Yuan Wen Lei (in Chinese). World Books, Taipei.《元文類》;蘇
天爵[元朝]編,世界書局,台北,1962年。
Tuo T (Yuan Dynasty) (1983) Song Shi (in Chinese), vol 340. Ding Wen Publishing House,
Taipei.《宋史》;脫脫[元朝]等撰,卷三百四十,鼎文出版社,台北,1983年。
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1968) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Taiwan Commercial Press, Taipei. 《農
書》;王禎[元朝]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1968年。
Wu R (Ming Dynasty) (1995) Hui Tu Lu Ban Jing (in Chinese). Zhu Lin Books, Hsinchu. 《繪圖
魯班經》;午榮[明朝]彙編,竹林書局,新竹,1995年。
Xu GQ (Ming Dynasty) (1968) Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese). Taiwan Commercial Press,
Taipei. 《農政全書》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1968年。
Xu S (Han Dynasty) (1959) Shuo Wen (in Chinese), Yi Wen Publishing House, Taipei.《說文》;許
慎[漢朝]撰,藝文出版社,台北,1959年。
Xu ZY (2007) Trigger mechanism in crossbow. Hebei Mei Shu Company, Hebei (in Chinese). 徐
占勇,弩機,河北美術出版社,河北,2007年。
Yan HS (2007) Reconstruction designs of lost ancient Chinese machinery. Springer, Dordrecht
Yan HS, Wu LI (2006) Mechanisms, 3rd edn. Dong Hua Books, Taipei (in Chinese). 顏鴻森、吳
隆庸,機構學,第三版,東華書局,台北,2006年。
Zheng X (Han Dynasty) (1989) Kao Gong Ji (in Chinese), commentaries by Jia Gong-yan kao
Gong Ji (Tang Dynasty), collated by Ruan Yuan (Qin Dynasty), notes and commentaries from
Zhou Li, Chapter 41, Da Hua Publishing House, Taipei.《考工記》;鄭玄[漢朝]注,賈公彥
[唐朝]疏,阮元[清朝]校勘,周禮注疏,卷四十一,大化出版社,台北,1989年。
Zhang TY (Qin Dynasty) (1993) Ming Shi (in Chinese), Jin Xiu Publisher, Taipei.《明史》;張廷
玉[清朝]撰,錦繡出版社,台北,1993年。
Zhao GZ (Song Dynasty) (1966) Mohist Canon (in Chinese), Yi Wen Publishing House, Taipei.
《墨經》;晁貫之[宋朝]撰,藝文出版社,台北,1966年。
Zhuang Z (Zhou Dynasty) (1993) Zi Z (in Chinese) . Jin Xiu Publishing House, Taipei. 《莊
子》;莊周[周朝]撰,錦繡出版社,台北,1993年。
Chapter 5
Reconstruction Design Methodology

Abstract This chapter first introduces the classification of mechanisms in ancient


books based on the degree of clarity of the illustrations. Then, a reconstruction
design methodology for mechanisms with uncertain structures is presented.
Finally, three different types of mechanisms with illustrations are provided as
examples to explain the proposed procedure.

5.1 Classification of Ancient Mechanisms with Illustrations

A mechanism is a combination of mechanical members with joints that are used to


transmit constrained relative motions among members. In the view of topological
structure, mechanisms in ancient books can be classified into the following three
types by the degree of clarity of their illustrations (Chen 2010):
Type I. Mechanisms with clear structures
For a mechanism, if the numbers and types of all members and joints can be
confirmed by studying the text and illustration, it is classified as Type I.
There are 72 type I mechanisms in the ancient books described in Chap. 2, as
listed in Table 5.1.
Type II. Mechanisms with uncertain types of joints
For a mechanism, if the types of joints are uncertain due to the unclear
description and illustration, it is classified as Type II.
There are 14 type II mechanisms in the ancient books described in Chap. 2, as
listed in Table 5.1.
Type III. Mechanisms with uncertain numbers and types of members and
joints

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 91
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_5,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
92 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

Table 5.1 Classifications of mechanisms with illustrations in ancient books


Books Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Nong Qin Ding
classifications 《農書》 《武備志》 Kai Wu Zheng Shou Shi
《天工開物》 Quan Shu Tong Kao
《農政全 《欽定授
書》 時通考》
Type I 36 12 33 33 31
mechanisms with
clear structures
Type II 9 2 7 11 9
mechanisms with
uncertain types
of joints
Type III 6 2 7 6 6
mechanisms with
uncertain
numbers and
types of
members and
joints

For a mechanism with only the appearance and without depiction of the internal
structure, or when some of its mechanical members are omitted, i.e., the numbers
and types of members and joints are uncertain, it is classified as Type III.
There are 10 type III mechanisms in the ancient books described in Chap. 2, as
listed in Table 5.1.
Figure 5.1 shows the classification of mechanisms with illustrations in the
ancient books. The first criterion is to identify if the structure of mechanism is
clear. If the structure is clear, the mechanism is classified as Type I. By analyzing
the structure of the mechanism, its structural sketch can be drawn.
If the structure is uncertain but the number of members is confirmed, the
mechanism is classified as Type II. By analyzing the structure of mechanism, the
structural characteristics are concluded including the numbers of members and
uncertain joints. According to the obtained characteristics, its structural sketch can
be drawn.
By studying the target device, its function is determined. In view of the device
function, these uncertain joints can be represented by different types of joints to
achieve the equivalent function. Considering the types and the motion directions of
the uncertain joints, all possible types of the uncertain joints can be generated. By
assigning the possible types of the uncertain joints to the obtained structural
sketch, the structural sketch with particular joints can be obtained. Equations
(3.1–3.2) can be used to determine the constrained motion of the device. Ancient
technological standards of the subject’s time period are used to identity appro-
priate and feasible designs.
If the mechanism contains both uncertain members and joints, it is classified as
Type III. The following Sect. 5.2 introduces a reconstruction design methodology
5.1 Classification of Ancient Mechanisms with Illustrations 93

Ancient Mechanism

No No Mechanism with
Clear Structure? Number of Members?
Uncertain Structure

Yes Yes
Structural analysis
Representation of and characteristics
members and joins
Structural Sketch

Device functions
Types of joints and
Structural Sketch directions of motion

Structural Sketches with Particular Joints


Clear Structure
Constrained motion
Ancient technological
standards

Atlas of Feasible Designs

Uncertain Types of Joints

Fig. 5.1 Classification of ancient mechanisms with illustrations

for synthesizing all possible structures of mechanisms with uncertain members


and joints.

5.2 Reconstruction Design Methodology

The reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain


structures, based on the methodology for the conceptual design of mechanisms
(Yan 1998, 2007), is to transform the specific knowledge obtained and divergent
ideas initiated from the study of various ancient literatures into the structural
characteristics and design constraints in modern mechanism design. Its purpose is
to obtain all feasible designs that meet the historical archives and technological
standards in the subject’s time period. Figure 5.2 shows the procedure, including
the study of historical archives and analysis of mechanism structures, generalized
kinematic chains, specialized chains, specialized chains with particular joints, and
atlas of feasible designs. Each step is presented as follows (Yan and Hsiao 2010;
Hsiao et al. 2010, 2011; Hsiao and Yan 2010):
Step 1. Study of the historical archives and analysis of the mechanism structure
By studying the relevant historical archives and analyzing the mechanism of a
target device, its structural characteristics can be concluded, including the possible
number of members and the definite incidences among members and joints of the
device. Since most of the indefinite parts in ancient illustrations are the number of
94 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

Fig. 5.2 Reconstruction


design methodology for
ancient mechanisms with
uncertain structures

members and the structures of joints, the uncertain members and joints are iden-
tified and emphasized in this step.
Figure 5.3a shows a Jie Gao (桔 槹, a shadoof, a counterweight lever) for water
lifting in ancient China (Pan 1998). It is a linkage mechanism that applies the
principle of lever. By studying the ancient archives and analyzing the mechanism
structure, the members of this device consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a lever
arm (member 2, KL1), a connecting link (member 3, KL2), and a bucket (member 4,
KB). The connecting link is connected to the bucket with a revolute joint (JRx), the
lever arm is connected to the frame and the connecting link with joints Jα and Jβ,
respectively. Due to the unclear illustration and written statements, joints Jα and Jβ
are uncertain and need to be further studied for their possible types.
Step 2. Generalized kinematic chains
The second step is to obtain or identify the atlas of generalized kinematic chains
with the same numbers of members and joints subject to concluded structural
characteristics from Sect. 3.6 (Yan 1998, 2007). A generalization transforms the
mechanism, that involves various types of members and joints, into a generalized
chain with only generalized links and joints. For example, the atlas of generalized
kinematic chains with four members (members 1, 2, 3, 4) and four joints (joints a,
b, c, d) is shown in Fig. 5.4. Most of the atlases of generalized kinematic chains
can be directly obtained from references (Yan and Wu 2006; Yan 1998, 2007) or
from Figs. 3.11–3.21 in Sect. 3.6.
5.2 Reconstruction Design Methodology 95

Fig. 5.3 A shadoof, a Original illustration (Pan 1998) b Specialized chain

Fig. 5.4 Atlas of (4, 4)


generalized kinematic chain

Figure 5.5 shows an ancient Chinese tool called Jie Chi (界尺) for drawing
parallel lines. This device is a linkage mechanism, including four members
(members 1, 2, 3, 4) and four revolute joints (JRz, a, b, c, d). Figures 5.5b and c
show its corresponding structural sketch and generalized kinematic chain,
respectively.
Step 3. Specialized chains
The process of assigning specific types of members and joints in the available
atlas of generalized kinematic chains, subject to the design constraints, is called
specialization (Yan 1998, 2007). Design constraints are defined based on the
concluded structural characteristics. A generalized kinematic chain after special-
ization is a specialized chain. Specialization is the reverse procedure of general-
ization. It is also the core concept of the reconstruction design methodology for
mechanisms with uncertain structures. Based on the process of specialization, the
atlas of specialized chains can be obtained.
96 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

Fig. 5.5 Jie Chi (界 尺), (a)


a Real object b Structural b Upper ruler (3) c
sketch c Generalized
kinematic chain
y 2 4

x
a d
z Lower ruler (1)
(b) (c)

A (4, 4) generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 5.4 is used as an example to


explain the concept of specialization. If joint a and joint d are assigned as revolute
joints (JRz) and joint b and joint c are thread joints (JT), as shown in Fig. 5.6a, the
chain is specialized into an upper balancing mechanism of the water lever
escapement mechanism in Su Song’s clock tower, as shown in Figs. 5.6b and c (Su
1969). If joint a and joint d are assigned as revolute joints JRx and joint b and joint
c are wrapping joints JW, as shown in Fig. 5.7a, the chain is specialized into a foot-
operated paddle blade machine, as shown in Figs. 5.7b and c (Pan 1998).
Step 4. Specialized chain with particular joints
In order to represent the structure of a mechanism, a right-hand rectangular
Cartesian coordinate system is defined to describe each motion axis of joints. The
first axis is often considered as the turning axle of a certain member in the device,
and is based on the need for descriptions and explanations; the other two axes
perpendicular to the first axis are then defined. By studying the target device, the
device function is determined. In view of the device function, these uncertain
joints can be represented by different types of joints to achieve the equivalent
function. Considering the types and the motion directions of the uncertain joints,
all possible types of the uncertain joints are generated. By assigning the possible
types of the uncertain joints to the specialized chains obtained in Step 3, spe-
cialized chains with particular joints are obtained.
A shadoof shown in Fig. 5.3 has multiple possible types of Jα and Jβ to achieve
the function of water lifting. Considering the types and the directions of motion of
the lever arm (member 2), uncertain joint Jα has three possible types. Firstly, the
lever arm rotates about the z-axis only, denoted as JRz . Secondly, the lever arm
rotates not only about the z-axis but also translates along the x-axis, denoted as
Px
JRz . Thirdly, besides rotating about the y and z axes, the lever arm also translates
5.2 Reconstruction Design Methodology 97

Fig. 5.6 An upper balancing mechanism, a Specialized chain b Structural sketch c Original
illustration (Su 1969)

Pxz
along the x and z axes, denoted as JRyz . Consider the types and the directions of
motion of the connecting link (member 3), uncertain joint Jβ has two possible
types: the connecting link rotates about the z-axis only, denoted as JRz; the con-
necting link rotates along the x and z axes, denoted as JRxz. By assigning the
possible types of uncertain joints Jα and Jβ to the specialized chain shown in
Fig. 5.3b, the corresponding specialized chains with particular joints are obtained.
Step 5. Atlas of feasible designs
The last step is to obtain all feasible designs from the specialized chains with
particular joints. Based on Eqs. (3.1, 3.2), the constrained motion of the device is
determined. In addition, ancient technological standards of the subject’s time
period are applied to identity appropriate and feasible designs.
98 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

Fig. 5.7 A foot-operated paddle blade machine, a Specialized chain b Structural sketch
c Original illustration (Pan 1998)

5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs

This section presents the procedure of classification and reconstruction designs of


ancient mechanisms. Three different types of mechanisms with illustrations are
presented as examples, including mechanisms with clear structures (Type I),
mechanisms with uncertain types of joints (Type II), and mechanisms with
uncertain numbers and types of members and joints (Type III).

5.3.1 Example 1: Shui Long (水礱, A Water-Driven Mill)

Shui Long (水礱, a water-driven mill) is a grain processing device that uses a gear
train to drive the mill, as shown in Fig. 5.8a (Lu and Hua 2000). It consists of a
vertical water wheel, a horizontal shaft, a vertical gear, and a mill gear.
5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs 99

Fig. 5.8 A water-driven mill, a Original illustration (Lu and Hua 2000) b Structural sketch
c Chain

The horizontal shaft that connects to the vertical water wheel and gear with no
relative motion is considered as the same member. When water drives the vertical
water wheel to spin, the horizontal shaft and vertical gear also spin. Through gear
transmission, the mill gear is operated to remove the chaff of grains.
Based on the written description and the illustration, the numbers and types of
all members and joints in the water-driven mill can be identified. Thus, the device
is classified as a Type I mechanism: a mechanism with a clear structure. This
device is a (3, 3) gear mechanism composed of the frame (member 1 KF), a vertical
gear with a water wheel (member 2, KG1), and a mill gear (member 3, KG2). The
vertical gear with a water wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint,
and its turning axis is horizontal, denoted as JRx; the mill gear is also connected to
the frame with a revolute joint, and its turning axis is vertical, denoted as JRy; the
two gears engage together by a gear joint (JG). Figures 5.8b and c show its
corresponding structural sketch and chain, respectively.
100 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

5.3.2 Example 2: Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽, An Iron Roller)

Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽, an iron roller) from the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開
物》is used mainly for grinding cinnabar ore to produce the raw material for red
color dye. When producing the dye, people place the ore into the grinding groove
and push the rod to drive the roller and then grind the ore into powder. Further-
more, the powder is put into a jar and soaked in clean water, as shown in Fig. 5.9a
(Pan 1998). This device consists of a pushing rod, a vertical rod, a roller, and a
grinding groove. There is no relative motion between the pushing rod and the
vertical rod, so that they can be considered as the same member. Since the ore
needs to be ground into powder, the grinding groove was made into a V shape to
help the roller‘s grinding.
Based on the written description and the illustration, the device has a clear
number of members, but its two joints, Jα between the vertical rod and the frame,
and Jβ between the roller and the grinding groove, can not be identified. Thus, it is
classified as a Type II mechanism: a mechanism with uncertain types of joints. The
iron roller is a (3, 3) planar mechanism consisting of the wooden stand with the
grinding groove as the frame (member 1, KF), a vertical rod with a pushing rod
(member 2, KL), and a roller (member 3, KO). The vertical rod is connected to the
roller and the frame with a revolute joint JRz and an uncertain joint Jα, respectively.
The roller is connected to the frame with the other uncertain joint Jβ. Figures 5.9b
and c show its corresponding sketch and chain, respectively.
The function of the iron roller is to grind the ore into powder by the roller. The
uncertain joints have multiple types to achieve the equivalent function. Consid-
ering the types and the directions of motion of the vertical rod, uncertain joint Jα
has two possible types: the vertical rod rotates about the z-axis with respect to the
frame, denoted as JRz; and the vertical rod not only rotates about the z-axis but also
Py
translates along the y-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRz . Considering
the types and the directions of motion of the roller, uncertain joint Jβ also has two
possible types: the relative motion between the roller and the grinding groove is
pure rolling without slipping, denoted as JO; and, the relative motion between them
is a combination of rolling and slipping, denoted as JOPx . By assigning the possible
types of uncertain joints Jα and Jβ into the sketch shown in Fig. 5.9b, four results as
shown in Figs. 5.9d1–d4 are obtained. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of
freedom for the mechanism obtained in Fig. 5.9d2 is 0. By removing such a design,
three feasible designs are available as shown in Figs. 5.9d1, d3, and d4.

5.3.3 Example 3: Yang Shan (颶扇, A Winnowing Device)

Yang Shan (颶扇, a winnowing device) is also called Feng Che Shan (風車扇) or
Yang Shan (揚扇, the same sound but different in the first Chinese character). It is a
device for winnowing husks and dust from the grains. There were two types,
including hand-operated and foot-operated winnowing devices, in ancient China.
5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs 101

Fig. 5.9 An iron roller, a Original illustration (Pan 1998) b Structural sketch c Chain d Atlas of
possible designs

The foot-operated winnowing device adds a linkage mechanism and can be driven
by foot. The hand-operated winnowing device needs two persons to operate, while
the foot-operated one can be operated by only one person’s hands and foot to save
on labor and increase efficiency. Figure 5.10 shows the original illustration of the
foot-operated winnowing device in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》(Sun
and Sun 1966).
102 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

Fig. 5.10 A foot-operated


winnowing device (Sun and
Sun 1966)

The crank is fitted with four or six vanes made of thin boards as an assembly
(member 3 KW). Through the oscillating motion of the treadle (member 2, KTr), the
crank with vanes is driven by the connecting link(s) to spin to achieve the function.
Since the related written description and the illustration do not define how the
oscillating motion of the treadle transforms to the rotation of the crank through the
connecting link(s), the foot-operated winnowing device is classified as a Type III
mechanism: a mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members and
joints. This device consists of the frame (member 1 KF), a treadle (member 2, KTr),
a crank with vanes (member 3 KW), and one or two connecting links (member 4,
KL1 and member 5, KL2) (Yan and Hsiao 2010). Based on the reconstruction design
methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures, all feasible designs
of the foot-operated winnowing device are obtained through the following steps:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar mechanism with four members (members 1–4) or five
members (members 1–5).
2. The treadle (KTr) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
a revolute joint JRx.
3. The crank with vanes (KW) is a binary link and connected to the frame
with a revolute joint JRx.
4. There must be a binary link as the connecting link that is connected to
the treadle (KTr) and/or the crank (KW) with revolute joints JRx.
Step 2. This device is a mechanism with four or five members. Figure 5.11 shows
the atlas of generalized kinematic chains with four and five members
obtained from Figs. 3.12–3.16.
5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs 103

Fig. 5.11 Atlas of some generalized kinematic chains with four and five members, a N = 4,
J = 4 b N = 4, J = 5 c N = 4, J = 6 d N = 5, J = 5 e N = 5, J = 6 f N = 5, J = 6 g N = 5, J = 7
h N = 5, J = 7 i N = 5, J = 7

Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and the connecting link,
or the connecting link and the crank. Therefore, only those three gen-
eralized kinematic chains shown in Figs. 5.11a, d, and f are qualified for
the process of specialization. The feasible specialized chains are identified
as follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary link is
connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 5.11a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result, as shown in Fig. 5.12a1.
104 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

Fig. 5.12 Specialization of the foot-operated winnowing device

2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 5.11d, the assignment of the
frame generates one result, as shown in Fig. 5.12a2.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 5.11f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result, as shown in Fig. 5.12a3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 5.12a1–a3.
5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs 105

Treadle (KTr)
Since there must be a binary link as the treadle (KTr) that is connected to the
frame (KF) with a revolute joint JRx, the treadle is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12a1, the assignment of the treadle generates one
result, as shown in Fig. 5.12b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12a2, the assignment of the treadle generates one
result, as shown in Fig. 5.12b2.
3. For the case shown in Figs. 5.12a3, the assignment of the treadle generates two
results, as shown in Figs. 5.12b3–b4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame and treadle are avail-
able as shown in Figs. 5.12b1–b4.
Crank with vanes (KW)
Since there must be a binary link as the crank (KW) that is connected to the
frame (KF) with a revolute joint JRx, the crank is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12b1, the assignment of the crank generates one
result, as shown in Fig. 5.12c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12b2, the assignment of the crank generates one
result, as shown in Fig. 5.12c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12b3, the assignment of the crank generates one
result, as shown in Fig. 5.12c3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12b4, the assignment of the crank generates one
result, as shown in Fig. 5.12c4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, and crank are
available as shown in Figs. 5.12c1–c4.
Connecting link1 and connecting link 2 (KL1 and KL2)
Since there must be a binary link as connecting link 1 (KL1) that is connected to
the treadle (KTr) with a revolute joint JRx, and the remaining link should be con-
necting link 2 (KL2), connecting link 1 and connecting link 2 are identified as
follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12c1, the assignment of connecting link 1 gen-
erates one result as shown in Fig. 5.12d1. Figure 5.12d1 is completed for the
process of specialization, and all members and joints are certain.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12c2, the assignment of connecting link 1, con-
necting link 2, and uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in
Fig. 5.12d2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12c3, the assignment of connecting link 1, con-
necting link 2, and uncertain joints J2, J3, J4, generates one result as shown in
Fig. 5.12d3.
106 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

4. For the case shown in Fig. 5.12c4, the assignment of connecting link 1, con-
necting link 2, and uncertain joints J5, J6, J7, generates one result as shown in
Fig. 5.12d4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, crank, con-
necting link 1, and connecting link 2 are available as shown in Figs. 5.12d1–d4.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 5.10. The x-axis is
defined as the direction of the axle of the crank. The y-axis is defined as
the direction of the diameter of the crank. The z-axis is determined by the
right-hand rule. The function of the foot-operated winnowing device is to
generate the rotation of crank with vanes through the oscillating motion of
the treadle. The uncertain joints have multiple types to achieve the
equivalent function. Since the device is planar, the uncertain joints must
be planar joints.
1. Considering uncertain joints J1, J2, and J5, each joint has one possible
type: connecting link 1 rotates about the x-axis with respect to con-
necting link 2, denoted as JRx.
2. Considering uncertain joints J3 and J4, each joint has two possible
types and they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one
of the joints rotates about the x-axis, denoted as JRx, the other not only
rotates about the x-axis but also translates along the z-axis, denoted as
Pz
JRx .
3. Considering uncertain joints J6 and J7, each joint has twopossible types
and they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one of the
joints rotates about the x-axis, denoted as JRx, the other not only rotates
Pz
about the x-axis but also translates along the z-axis, denoted as JRx .
By assigning the possible types of uncertain joints J1(JRx), J2(JRx), J3(JRx and
Pz Pz Pz Pz
JRx J4(JRx and JRx
), ), J5(JRx), J6(JRx and JRx ), and J7(JRx and JRx ) to the specialized
chains shown in Figs. 5.12d2–d4, five specialized chains with particular joints as
shown in Figs. 5.12e1–e5 are obtained.
Step 5. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom of Fig. 5.12e1 is 2,
meaning that the motion is not constrained. By removing such a chain,
five feasible specialized chains with particular joints are available as
shown in Figs. 5.12d1 and e2–e5. Figures 5.13a–e show the 3D solid
models of the feasible designs. Furthermore, Fig. 5.14 shows the imitation
illustration of the foot-operated winnowing device in the book Tian Gong
Kai Wu《天工開物》.
5.3 Examples of Reconstruction Designs 107

Fig. 5.13 Atlas of feasible designs of foot-operated winnowing device

Fig. 5.14 Imitation illustration of foot-operated winnowing device (Yan and Hsiao 2010)
108 5 Reconstruction Design Methodology

5.4 Summary

Mechanisms in ancient literature can be classified by the degree of clarity of their


illustrations into three types: mechanisms with clear structures (type I), mecha-
nisms with uncertain types of joints (type II), and mechanisms with uncertain
numbers and types of members and joints (type III). This chapter proposes a
procedure for the classification and reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms
with illustrations. It is a novel tool to study mechanisms with illustrations in
ancient books. For type III mechanisms, the proposed reconstruction design
methodology can be applied to systematically synthesize all feasible designs that
meet the ancient technological standards. In addition, there are 72 Type I mech-
anisms, 14 Type II mechanisms, and 10 Type III mechanisms in the ancient books
described in Chap. 2.

References

Chen YH (2010) Reconstruction designs of mechanisms with drawings in three ancient Chinese
agriculture books (in Chinese), Master thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 陳羽薰,三本古中國農業類專書中具圖畫機構之
復原設計,碩士論文,國立成功大學機械工程學系,台南,2010年。
Hsiao KH, Chen YH, Yan HS (2010) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese foot-operated silk-
reeling mechanism. Front Mech Eng China 5(3):279–288
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2010) Structural identification of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Chin Soc Mech Eng Taipei 31(5):383–392
Hsiao KH, Chen YH, Tsai PY, Yan HS (2011) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese foot-
operated slanting loom. Proc Inst Mech Eng [C], J Mech Eng Sci 225:2685–2699
Lu JY, Hua JM (2000) A history of science and technology in China-volume of mechanical
engineering (in Chinese), Science Press, Beijing 陸敬嚴、華覺明主編,中國科學技術史.機
械卷,科學出版社,北京,2000年。
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese), Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出版
社,上海,1998年。
Sun EZ, Sun SC (1966) Chinese technology in the seventeenth Century, Dover Publications,
New York
Su S (Northern Song Dynasty) (1969) Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao (in Chinese), Taiwan Commercial
Press, Taipei 《新儀象法要》;蘇頌[北宋]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1969年。
Yan HS, Wu LI (2006) Mechanisms (in Chinese), 3rd edn. Dong Hua Books, Taipei 顏鴻森、吳
隆庸,機構學,第三版,東華書局,台北,2006年。
Yan HS (1998) Creative design of mechanical devices. Springer, Singapore
Yan HS (2007) Reconstruction designs of lost ancient Chinese machinery. Springer, Netherlands
Yan HS, Hsiao KH (2010) Structural synthesis of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Adv Mech Des Syst Manuf Japan Soc Mech Eng 4(4):773–784
Chapter 6
Roller Devices

Abstract Ancient Chinese mechanical devices with roller members can be divi-
ded by function into six types: soil preparation devices, harvest and transportation
devices, grain processing devices, water lifting devices, war weapons, and others.
This chapter presents the functions and components of these devices and shows
their structural sketches.

6.1 Soil Preparation Devices

There are five soil preparation devices with roller members (soil rollers), including
Li Ze (礰礋), Liu Zhe (磟碡), Gun Zhou (輥軸), Dun Che (砘車), and Shi Tuo
(石陀) as shown in Figs. 6.1a–e, respectively (Wang 1991; Pan 1998). These soil
rollers consist of wooden or hollow stone cylinders with notches or spikes set on
the wooden frames. They are pulled by animals, and their wooden or stone cyl-
inders are used to roll on farms for breaking mud blocks and flatenting lands. One
of their functions is to mix various degrees of humid soils. The stone roller is
suitable for flattening dry land, while the wooden type is for wet land.
Each of these devices is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure and can be
identified as a mechanism with two members and one joint, including a wooden
frame as the frame (member 1, KF) and a roller member (member 2, KO) that is set
on the wooden frame. The roller member is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint JRy. Figure 6.1f shows the structural sketch.

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 109
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_6,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
110 6 Roller Devices

(a)

(b) (c)

(d) (e) (f)

Fig. 6.1 Soil preparation devices. a Wooden and stony Li Ze (木礰礋, 石礰礋) (Wang 1991).
b Liu Zhe (磟碡) (Wang 1991). c Gun Zhou (輥軸) (Wang 1991). d Dun Che (砘車) (Wang
1991). e Shi Tuo (石陀) (Pan 1998). f Structural sketch

6.2 Harvest and Transportation Devices

There are seven harvest and transportation devices with roller members, including
Xia Ze Che (下澤車, a swamp-used cart), Da Che (大車, a large cart), Tui Lian
(推鐮, a hand reaper), Mai Long (麥籠, a wheat storage cart), He Gua Da Che (合
掛大車, a four-wheel cart), Nan Fang Du Tui Che (南方獨推車, a single-wheel
6.2 Harvest and Transportation Devices 111

cart), and Shuang Qian Du Lun Che (雙遣獨輪車, a dual-driven wheel barrow)
as shown in Figs. 6.2a–g, respectively (Wang 1991; Pan 1998).
The swamp-used cart and the large cart are used for loading and transporting.
The hand reaper and the wheat storage cart are used for harvesting and moving.
The four-wheel cart, the single-wheel cart, and the dual-driven wheel-barrow are
used for both loading and transporting grains, and taking passengers.
Each of these devices mentioned above is a Type I mechanism with a clear
structure and consists of the wagon frame and the wheels. The first three devices
have two wheels, the forth and fifth have four, and the last two have a singular
wheel. For the device with a symmetrical structure, only one part of the sym-
metrical structure is needed for analysis. Thus, all of the seven devices can be
identified as a mechanism with two members and one joint, including the wagon
frame as the frame (member 1, KF), and wheels set on the frame as the roller
member (member 2, KO). The wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint
JRz. Figure 6.2h shows the structural sketch.

6.3 Grain Processing Devices

There are five grain processing devices with roller members, including Feng Che
Shan (風車扇, a winnowing device), Mo (礳, an animal-driven grinder), Shui Mo
(水磨, a water-driven grinder), Xiao Nian (小碾, a small stone roller), and Gun Shi
(滾石, a rolling stone). Each device is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure
and described as follows:

6.3.1 Feng Che Shan (風車扇, A Winnowing Device)

Feng Che Shan (風車扇), also known as Yang Shan (揚扇) or Yang Shan (颶扇), is
a hand-operated winnowing device for removing husks and dirt from the grains as
shown in Fig. 6.3a (Wang 1991). The winnowing device can be operated by hands
or feet. The description of the foot-operated winnowing device is presented in
Sect. 5.3. The hand-operated winnowing device consists of a box, a crank, and
vanes. The crank is fitted with four or six vanes made of thin boards as an
assembly. During operation, grains are placed in a wooden funnel on top of the
box. The grains pass through the gap to the funnel and fall down constantly.
Meanwhile, the vanes spin to blow away the lighter husks, and the grains with no
husks would fall into the bottom of the box.
The hand-operated winnowing device is a mechanism with two members and
one joint, including a box as the frame (member 1, KF) and the crank with vanes
(member 2, KW) that is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz.
Figures 6.3b and c show the structural sketch and a real object, respectively.
112 6 Roller Devices

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

(e) (f)

(g) (h)

Fig. 6.2 Harvest and transportation devices. a A swamp-used cart (下澤車). b A large cart (大
車) (Wang 1991). c A hand reaper (推鐮) (Wang 1991). d A wheat storage cart (麥籠) (Wang
1991). e A four-wheel cart (合掛大車) (Pan 1998). f A single-wheel cart (南方獨推車) (Pan
1998). g A dual-driven wheel barrow (雙遣獨輪車) (Pan 1998). h Structural sketch
6.3 Grain Processing Devices 113

Fig. 6.3 A hand-operated (a) (b)


winnowing device (風車扇).
a Original illustration (Wang
1991). b Structural Sketch.
c Real object (collection in
National Science and
Technology Museum,
Taiwan)

(c)

6.3.2 Mo (礳, An Animal-Driven Grinder), Shui Mo


(水磨, A Water-Driven Grinder)

The function of Mo (礳, an animal-driven grinder) and Shui Mo (水磨, a water-


driven grinder) is to crush crops as shown in Figs. 6.4a and b (Wang 1991). The
basic structure contains the upper and lower grinding discs. The lower grinding
disc is fixed while the upper part rotates. The upper grinding disc engraves grooves
on its bottom, and the grooves’ shape is mainly the parallel and equally-separated
diagonal lines, all of which form a smooth grinding surface. A shaft is installed
through the center to connect both discs in order to make them slide and rub
against each other. Mo is driven by animals that walk around the grinding base and
rotate the upper grinding disc. Shui Mo is another type that has a long shaft on the
grinding disc and a horizontal water wheel attached to the other end of the shaft.
The upper grinding disc is connected to the long shaft with a horizontal water
wheel as an assembly. When water flows through the wheel, the upper grinding
disc rotates to grind the grains (Zhang et al. 2004).
The two grinders can be identified as a mechanism with two members and one
joint. The lower grinding disc is the fixed frame (member 1, KF). The upper
grinding disc is the moving link (member 2, KL) and is connected to the frame with
a revolute joint JRy. Figure 6.4c shows the structural sketch for both devices, and
Fig. 6.4d shows a real object of the water-driven grinder.
114 6 Roller Devices

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Fig. 6.4 Grinders. a An animal-driven grinder (礳) (Wang 1991). b A water-driven grinder (水
磨) (Wang 1991). c Structural sketch. d Real object (photoed by Guan, X.W., in Lhasa, Tibet)

6.3.3 Xiao Nian (小碾, A Small Stone Roller), Gun Shi


(滾石, A Rolling Stone)

The function of Xiao Nian (小碾, a small stone roller) and Gun Shi (滾石, a rolling
stone) is to remove rice husk or wheat bran as shown in Figs. 6.5a and b (Pan 1998).
The small stone roller is driven by hands while the rolling stone is driven by
animals. Its components include a center shaft and a hollow cylinder. During
operation, the center shaft is attached to roll the cylinder over the grains for
removing the husks. The two devices can be identified as a mechanism with two
members and one joint, including a center shaft as the frame (member 1, KF) and a
hollow cylinder as the roller member (member 2, KO). The roller member is con-
nected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figure 6.5c shows the structural sketch.

6.4 Water Lifting Devices

There are three water lifting devices with roller members, including Gua Che (刮
車), Tong Che (筒車), and Long Wei (龍尾). Each of the devices is a Type I
mechanism with a clear structure and is described below:
6.4 Water Lifting Devices 115

(a)

(b) (c)

Fig. 6.5 A small stone roller and a rolling stone. a A small stone roller (小碾) (Pan 1998).
b A rolling stone (滾石) (Pan 1998). c Structural sketch

6.4.1 Gua Che (刮車, a Scrape Wheel)

Gua Che (刮車, a scrape wheel) consists of the frame, a water wheel, and a crank
as shown in Fig. 6.6a (Wang 1991). The water wheel is connected to a crank as an
assembly. The device is placed near a river bank. Rotating the crank, the water
wheel would draw water up to the shore. It is a mechanism with two members and
one joint, including the frame (member 1, KF) and a water wheel as the moving
link (member 2, KL). The water wheel with a crank is connected to the frame with
a revolute joint JRz. Figure 6.6b shows the structural sketch.
116 6 Roller Devices

Fig. 6.6 A scrape wheel (刮


車). a Original illustration
(Wang 1991). b Structural
sketch

6.4.2 Tong Che (筒車, a Cylinder Wheel)

Tong Che (筒車, a cylinder wheel), also known as Sui Lun (水輪) or Zhu Che (竹
車), is a device for scooping up water to the shore as shown in Fig. 6.7a (Pan
1998). The device consists of the frame and a water wheel. The diameter of the
wheel depends on the height of the shore. After the device is installed, its wheel
needs to be higher than the shore. Among each wheel’s spoke is the water-
receiving board and bamboo cylinder. The device can only be used in a strong
current, so the fast-moving water would push the water-receiving boards to spin
the water wheel.
It is a mechanism with two members and one joint, including the frame
(member 1, KF) and a water wheel as the moving link (member 2, KL). The water
wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. Figure 6.7b shows the
structural sketch. Figures 6.7c and d show an imitation of the original illustration
in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》and a real object, respectively.

6.4.3 Long Wei (龍尾, an Archimedean Screw)

Long Wei (龍尾, an Archimedean screw) is an irrigating device imported from


the West, after Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟) (AD 1562–1633) and Missionary Sabatino
de Ursis (熊三拔) (AD 1575–1620) translated the book Taixi Shufa 《泰西水法》
(Hydraulic machinery of the West) into Chinese. Its components are a tilted
hollow external cylinder and a center shaft with screw threads. When the center
shaft spins, its screw threads can draw water up to the shore. Figures 6.8a1–a4
show the geometric graphics of some parts, and Fig. 6.8a5 shows the graphic after
its installation (Shi 1981).
It is a mechanism with two members and one joint, including an external
cylinder as the frame (member1, KF) and a center shaft as the moving link
(member 2, KL). The center shaft is connected to the frame with a revolute joint
JRz. Figure 6.8b shows the structural sketch.
6.4 Water Lifting Devices 117

Fig. 6.7 A cylinder wheel (筒車). a Original illustration (Pan 1998). b Structural sketch.
c Imitation of original illustration. d Real object (photoed by Guan, X.W., in Lanzhou, Gansu)
118 6 Roller Devices

Fig. 6.8 An Archimedean screw (龍尾) a original illustration (Shi 1981). b Structural sketch

6.5 War Weapons

There are 11 war weapons with roller members that can be divided by function
into three types: reconnaissance, attack, and defense. Among these devices, Chao
Che (巢車, an investigating wagon) and Wang Lo Che (望樓車, an investigating
wagon) are devices for reconnaissance. Hao Qiao (壕橋, a moat bridge), Yang
Feng Che (揚風車, a winnowing device), Fen Wen Che (轒轀車, a digging
wagon), Yun Ti (雲梯, a tower ladder wagon), Pao Che (砲車, a ballista wagon),
and Zhuang Che (撞車, a colliding wagon) are for attack. Lei (檑, a thrower), Lang
Ya Pai (狼牙拍, a thrower), and Man (幔, a shield wagon) are for defense. Each
device is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure and is described below:

6.5.1 Reconnaissance Devices

Military strategists in ancient China considered the reconnaissance of enemies’


positions as an important task. Chao Che (巢車, an investigating wagon) is the
6.5 War Weapons 119

most representative device for the task as shown in Fig. 6.9a (Mao 2001). The
device can be tracked to the Spring–Autumn Period (770–476 BC) (Lu 2003). In
the device, Ban Wu (板屋, a wooden cab that can rise and fall), made from solid
wood and covered with raw cowhide to prevent the attacks from enemies. It can
hold two scouts. When the scouts enter the wooden cab, the cab is raised by using
a pulley so that they can see the status of the enemies. The device has wheels so
that other soldiers can move it around on the battlefield and the scouts on the cab
can look out and search for enemies.

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Fig. 6.9 Reconnaissance devices. a An investigating wagon (巢車) (Mao 2001). b Structural
sketch of roller device. c Structural sketch of pulley device. d An investigating wagon (望樓車)
(Mao 2001)
120 6 Roller Devices

Chao Che can be divided into two parts: the roller device and the pulley device.
The roller device is a mechanism with two members and one joint, including a
wagon body as the frame (member 1, KF) and wheels on the frame as the roller
member (member 2, KO). The wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint
JRz. Figure 6.9b shows the structural sketch. The pulley device is a mechanism
with four members and three joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a pulley
(member 3, KU), a rope (member 4, KT), and a Ban Wu (member 5, KB). The
pulley is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. The rope is connected to
the pulley and the Ban Wu with a wrapping joint JW and a thread joint JT,
respectively. Figure 6.9c shows the structural sketch.
In the book Wu Bei Zhi《武備志》, there is another type of reconnaissance
device known as Wang Lo Che (望樓車, an investigating wagon) as shown in
Fig. 6.9d (Mao 2001). The device has the same function as Chao Che, but without
the pulley and the rope. It only has a roller device, and its Ban Wu is set on a
standing rod (as the frame). Thus, the scouts need to climb up to the Ban Wu on
their own. Figure 6.9b shows the structural sketch.

6.5.2 Attack Devices

In the Shang Dynasty (1600–1100 BC), entrenchments had been used outside the
city walls for defense. Soldiers needed to pass over the entrenchments in order to
attack the city. Hao Qiao (壕橋, a moat bridge) is a device to assist soldiers to
cross the entrenchments as shown in Fig. 6.10a (Mao 2001). It is a mechanism
with two members and one joint, including a bridge body as the frame (member 1,
KF) and wheels on the frame as the roller members (member 2, KO). The wheel is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figure 6.10b shows the structural
sketch.
Moreover, sometimes another link (member 3, KL) is added to the original moat
bridge to increase the distance for reaching the other side of the entrenchment. The
link can be folded to save space, as a folding bridge shown in Fig. 6.10c (Mao
2001). The folding device is also a mechanism with two members and one joint,
including a frame (member 1, KF) and a folding link (member 3, KL). The folding
link is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figure 6.10d shows the
structural sketch for the folding device.
Yang Feng Che (揚風車, a winnowing device), also known as Feng Shan Che
(風扇車), has similar structures as Feng Che Shan (風車扇) in Sect. 6.3, but they
are used for different purposes. The device for war is to rotate the vanes to produce
strong winds for the purpose of lighting fires and assist in attacking, or to bring
dust up as shown in Figs. 6.11a and b (Mao 2001). It is a mechanism with two
members and one joint, including a stand as the frame (member 1, KF) and a crank
with vanes (member 2, KW) that is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx.
Figure 6.11c shows the structural sketch.
6.5 War Weapons 121

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Fig. 6.10 A moat bridge and a folding bridge. a A moat bridge (壕橋) (Mao 2001). b Structural
sketch. c A folding bridge (摺疊橋) (Mao 2001). d Structural sketch of folding device

Fen Wen Che, (轒轀車 a digging wagon) is a device used to protect soldiers
when they are close to the enemy. Under its protection, the solders could dig
tunnels or execute other tasks safely. This device can be dated back to the Spring–
Autumn Period (770–476 BC) (Lu 2003). It usually has several wheels and a firm
body with a raw cowhide cover. The names, sizes, and shapes of the device may
122 6 Roller Devices

Fig. 6.11 Winnowing (a)


devices. a A winnowing
device (揚風車) (Mao 2001).
b A winnowing device (風扇
車) (Mao 2001). c Structural
sketch

(b) (c)

vary, but it must not have bottom plane in order for the solders inside to either
move around the wagon or dig tunnels under them, as shown in Figs. 6.12a–c. It is
a mechanism with two members and one joint, including a wagon stand as the
frame (member 1, KF) and wheels on the frame as the roller members (member 2,
KO), and each wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Fig-
ure 6.12d shows the structural sketch.
Yun Ti (雲梯, a tower ladder wagon), also known as Da Che (搭車) or Da
Tian Che (搭天車), is a device to help solders to climb city walls, as shown in
Figs. 6.13a–c (Mao 2001). There are some records about the tower ladder wagon in
the Spring–Autumn Period (770–476 BC). The device should be combined with
the singular wooden ladder and the moving wagon. Its structure can be divided
into two parts: the roller device and the ladder device. The roller device is a
mechanism with two members and one joint, including the frame (member 1, KF)
and the wheels on the frame as the roller members (member 2, KO). Each wheel is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figure 6.13d shows the structural
sketch of the roller device. The ladder device is also a mechanism with two
members and one joint, including the frame (member 1, KF) and a ladder (member
3, KL). The ladder is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JR. Figure 6.13e
shows the structural sketch of the ladder device.
6.5 War Weapons 123

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Fig. 6.12 Digging wagons. a A digging wagon (轒轀車) (Mao 2001). b A digging wagon (尖頭
木驢) (Mao 2001). c A digging wagon (木牛車) (Mao 2001). d Structural sketch

Pao Che (砲車, a ballista wagon), also known as Xing Pao Che (行砲車) or
Pao Lou (砲樓), is a trebuchet on a moving wagon. It is used to sling rock balls to
attack long-distance targets as shown in Figs. 6.14a–b (Mao 2001). The Chinese
character, Pao, means a ballista or trebuchet. The ballista had a long history of
uses in ancient China. According the archaeological data, the relic sites of the Old
and New Stone Ages have found rock balls in many locations that may be the
ammunition for trebuchets (Zhang et al. 2004; Lu 2003). In the end of the East
Han Dynasty (AD 200), the ballista wagon had been developed into a device with
mobility and offensive power. Its structure consists of the roller device and the
ballista device. The roller device is a mechanism with two members and one joint,
including the frame (member 1, KF) and wheels on the frame as the roller members
(member 2, KO). Each wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz.
Figure 6.14c shows the structural sketch of the roller device. The ballista device is
a mechanism with three members and two joints, including the frame (member 1,
KF), a ballista rod (member 3, KL), and a rope (member 4, KT). The ballista rod is
connected to the frame and the rope with a revolute joint JRz and a thread joint JT,
respectively. Figure 6.14d shows the structural sketch of the ballista device.
Zhuang Che (撞車, a colliding wagon), also known as Chong Che (沖車), is a
device to collide cities’ gates and walls as shown in Fig. 6.15a (Mao 2001). Mozi
(墨子) (479–381 BC) called the motion of the device as the character “Chong”,
meaning “colliding”. It contains two parts: the roller device and the colliding
124 6 Roller Devices

Fig. 6.13 Tower ladder wagons. a A tower ladder wagon (雲梯) (Mao 2001). b A tower ladder
wagon (搭車) (Mao 2001). c A tower ladder wagon (搭天車) (Mao 2001). d Structural sketch of
roller device e Structural sketch of ladder device

device. The roller device is a mechanism with two members and one joint,
including the frame (member 1, KF) and wheels on the frame as the roller members
(member 2, KO). Each wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz.
Figure 6.15b shows the structural sketch of the roller device. The colliding device
is a mechanism with three members and two joints, including the frame (member
6.5 War Weapons 125

Fig. 6.14 Ballista wagons. a A ballista wagon (行砲車) (Mao 2001). b A ballista wagon (砲樓)
(Mao 2001). c Structural sketch of roller device. d Structural sketch of ballista device

Fig. 6.15 A colliding wagon (撞車). a Original illustration (Mao 2001). b Structural sketch of
roller device. c Structural sketch of colliding device
126 6 Roller Devices

1, KF), a rope (member 3, KT), and a colliding rod (member 4, KL). The rope is
connected to the frame and the colliding rod with thread joints JT. Figure 6.15c
shows the structural sketch of the colliding device.

6.5.3 Defense Devices

Lei (檑, a thrower) also known as Lei (雷), is a heavy object for throwing to attack
soldiers under and outside the city walls. It has many different types as shown in
Fig. 6.16a (Mao 2001). It is a mechanism with three members and two joints,
including a wooden link (member 1, KL), a roller (member 2, KO), and a rope
(member 3, KT). The link is connected to the roller and the rope with a revolute joint
JRx and a thread joint JT, respectively. Figure 6.16b shows the structural sketch.
Lang Ya Pai (狼牙拍, a thrower) has the same function as Lei (檑) as shown in
Fig. 6.17a (Mao 2001). It increases the area of the spiked surface and is installed
on a pulley to easily manipulate. It is a mechanism with four members and three
joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a pulley (member 2, KU), a rope
(member 3, KT), and a spiky link (member 4, KB). The pulley is connected to the
frame with a revolute joint JRx. The rope is connected to the pulley and the spiked
link with a wrapping joint JW and a thread joint JT, respectively. Figure 6.17b
shows the structural sketch.
Before the Jin Dynasty (AD 265–316), Mu Man (木幔, a wooden shield
wagon) had been used in wars (Zhang et al. 2004). Its earliest function was to
cover soldiers when they climb city walls. Later it became a defense device for
protecting them from enemies’ rock balls as shown in Fig. 6.18a (Mao 2001).
The wooden shield wagon can be divided into two parts: the roller device and
the shield device. The roller device is a mechanism with two members and one

Fig. 6.16 Throwers (檑). a Original illustration (Mao 2001). b Structural sketch
6.5 War Weapons 127

Fig. 6.17 Throwers (狼牙拍). a Original illustration (Mao 2001). b Structural sketch

joint, including the frame (member 1, KF) and wheels on the frame as the roller
members (member 2, KO). The wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint JRz. Figure 6.18b shows the structural sketch of the roller device. The shield
device is a mechanism with four members and three joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), a connecting link (member 3, KL), a rope (member 4, KT), and a
shield (member 5, KB). The rope is connected to the connecting link and the shield
with thread joints JT. The connecting link is connected to the frame with a joint
Px
that translates along the x-axis and rotates about the y and z axes, denoted as JRyz .
Figure 6.18c shows the structural sketch of the shield device. The design of the
joint between the frame and the connecting link facilitates the soldiers operating
the shield easily and minimizing the harm from the enemies’ rock balls.

6.6 Other Devices

There are four devices that cannot be classified under the five types mentioned
above, including Huo Zi Ban Yun Lun (活字板韻輪, a type keeping wheel), Mu
Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車, a cottonseed removing device), Bo Che (紴車, a linen
spinning device), and Tao Che (陶車, a pottery making device). Each device is a
Type I mechanism with a clear structure and is described below:

6.6.1 Huo Zi Ban Yun Lun (活字板韻輪, A Type Keeping


Wheel)

On the basis of the clay types of typography invented by Bi Sheng (畢昇) in the
Northern Song Dynasty (AD 970–1051), Wang Zhen (王禎) in the Yuan Dynasty
(AD 1271–1368) replaced the clay typesets with wooden types, eliminating the
128 6 Roller Devices

Fig. 6.18 A wooden shield wagon (木幔). a Original illustration (Mao 2001). b Structural sketch
of roller device. c Structural sketch of shield device

weakness of clay types that “…hard to attach ink, easy to be broken, and thus can
not last long” 「難以使墨、率多印壞, 所以不能久行」. He also invented Huo
Zi Ban Yun Lun (活字板韻輪, a type keeping wheel) as shown in Fig. 6.19a (Wang
1991). In this device, the types are sorted by their rhymes. The pick-word worker
only needs to rotate the wheel to get needed types. This device greatly enhanced
working efficiency.
6.6 Other Devices 129

Fig. 6.19 A type keeping wheel (活字板韻輪). a Original illustration (Wang 1991). b Structural
sketch. c Prototype

It is a mechanism with two members and one joint, including a base as the
frame (member 1, KF), a wheel as the moving link (member 2, KL). The wheel is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRy. Figures 6.19b–c show the
structural sketch and a prototype, respectively.

6.6.2 Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車, A Cottonseed Removing


Device)

Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車, a cottonseed removing device) is a device used in


the fiber processing of cotton before weaving as shown in Fig. 6.20a (Wang 1991).
The device can be operated by hands or feet. This chapter only analyzes the hand-
operated device, and the foot-operated one will be described in Chap. 9. After
cotton is harvested and dried, they are pressed by the device to separate the fibers
and the cores. It consists of a wooden frame and two turning axles. Each axle has a
crank for rotating. There is no relative motion between the axle and the crank, so
they can be considered as the same link. The hand-operated device requires two
130 6 Roller Devices

Fig. 6.20 A cottonseed


removing device (木棉攪車).
a Original illustration (Wang
1991). b Structural sketch

operators to rotate the cranks in the opposite directions, causing the cotton to move
into the gap between the two axles to gin out the cotton seeds.
For the device with symmetrical structures, only one part of the symmetrical
structure is needed to be analyzed. Thus, the device can be identified as a
mechanism with two members and one joint, including the frame (member 1, KF),
and an axle with a crank as the moving link (member 2, KL). The axle is connected
to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. Figure 6.20b shows the structural sketch.

6.6.3 Bo Che (紴車, A Linen Spinning Device)

Bo Che (紴車, a linen spinning device) is a device used for processing hemp fibers
as shown in Fig. 6.21a (Wang 1991). It consists of a wooden frame and a crank
with the rotating wheel. The operator’s one hand draws and twists the linen fibers,
and the other hand rotates the crank. It is a mechanism with two members and one
joint, including the frame (member 1, KF) and a crank with the rotating wheel
(member 2, KL). The crank is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx.
Figure 6.21b shows the structural sketch.

6.6.4 Tao Che (陶車, A Pottery Making Device)

Tao Che (陶車, a pottery making device) is used to make all kinds of ceramics as
shown in Fig. 6.22a (Pan 1998). The first step of the ceramic production is to

Fig. 6.21 A linen spinning


device ( ). a Original
illustration (Wang 1991).
b Structural sketch
6.6 Other Devices 131

Fig. 6.22 A pottery making


device (陶車). a Original
illustration (Pan 1998).
b Structural sketch

investigate the types of clay. When the type of clay is identified, a certain amount
of clay is placed on the rotating round table, according to the size of the final
product. The operator’s thumb presses on the bottom of the clay and spins the
round table smoothly to form a blank shape.
It is a mechanism with two members and one joint, including the base as the
frame (member 1, KF) and a rotating round table as the moving link (member 2,
KL). The rotating round table is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRy.
Figure 6.22b shows the structural sketch.

6.7 Summary

Based on the view point of modern mechanisms, this chapter analyzes the devices
with roller members in the technical books of ancient China. Since revolute joints
can be manufactured easily and have wide applications, numerous rotating
members have been used in ancient mechanical devices.
There are 35 roller devices with illustrations in the ancient books described in
Chap. 2, as listed in Table 6.1. Furthermore, all of them can be classified as Type I,
i.e., mechanisms with clear structures. There are a total of 42 original illustrations,
28 structural sketches, one imitation illustration, one prototype, and three real
objects described in this chapter. If the device’s rotating member is used as a
roller, it usually belongs to the soil preparation or transportation device. In addi-
tion, rotating members are widely applied in agricultural production, grain pro-
cessing, water lifting for irrigation, textile processing, and ceramics
manufacturing, etc. The types of members shown in this chapter include rollers,
links, and threads with revolute, wrapping, and thread joints. Furthermore, their
power sources include human, animal, and water.
Table 6.1 Roller devices (35 items)
132

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Li Ze (礰礋) Fig. 6.1 Lei Si Nong Qi
Type I 《耒耜》 《農器》
Liu Zhe (磟碡) Fig. 6.1 Lei Si Nong Qi
Type I 《耒耜》 《農器》
Gun Zhou (輥軸) Fig. 6.1 Pa Ba Nong Qi Shou Huo
Type I 《杷朳》 《農器》 《收穫》
Dun Che (砘車) Fig. 6.1 Lei Si Nong Qi
Type I 《耒耜》 《農器》
Shi Tuo (石陀) Fig. 6.1 Nai Li
Type I 《乃粒》
Xia Ze Che (下澤車) Zhou Chi
Fig. 6.2 Type I 《舟車》
Da Che (大車) Fig. 6.2 Zhou Chi
Type I 《舟車》
Tui Lian (推鐮) Fig. 6.2 Zhi Ai Nong Qi
Type I 《銍艾》 《農器》
Mai Long (麥籠) Fig. 6.2 Mou Mai Nong Qi Shou Huo
Type I 《麰麥》 《農器》 《收穫》
He Gua Da Che (合掛大車) Zhou Chi
Fig. 6.2 Type I 《舟車》
(continued)
6 Roller Devices
Table 6.1 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
6.7 Summary

Nan Fang Du Tui Che Zhou Chi


(南方獨推車) Fig. 6.2 《舟車》
Type I
Shuang Qian Du Lun Che Zhou Chi
(雙譴獨輪車) Fig. 6.2 《舟車》
Type I
Feng Che Shan (風車扇) Chu Jiu Sui Jing Gong Zhi
Fig. 6.3 Type I 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《攻治》
Mo (礳) Fig. 6.4 Chu Jiu Sui Jing Nong Qi Gong Zhi
Type I 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《農器》 《攻治》
Shui Mo (水磨) Fig. 6.4 Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
Type I 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Xiao Nian (小碾) Fig. 6.5 Sui Jing Gong Zhi
Type I 《碎精》 《攻治》
Gun Shi (滾石) Fig. 6.5 Sui Jing
Type I 《碎精》
Gua Che (刮車) Fig. 6.6 Guai Gai Shui Li Guai Gai
Type I 《灌溉》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Tong Che (筒車) Fig. 6.7 Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
Type I 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Long Wei (龍尾) Fig. 6.8 Jun Zi Cheng Shui Li Tai Xi Sui Fa
Type I 《軍資乘》 《水利》 《泰西水法》
Chao Che (巢車) Fig. 6.9 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Wang Lo Che (望樓車) Jun Zi Cheng
Fig. 6.9 Type I 《軍資乘》
Hao Qiao (壕橋) Fig. 6.10 Jun Zi Cheng
133

Type I 《軍資乘》
(continued)
Table 6.1 (continued)
134

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Yang Feng Che (揚風車) Jun Zi Cheng
Fig. 6.11 Type I 《軍資乘》
Fen Wen Che Jun Zi Cheng
(轒轀車) Fig. 6.12 Type I 《軍資乘》
Yun Ti (雲梯) Fig. 6.13 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Pao Che (砲車) Fig. 6.14 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Zhuang Che (撞車) Fig. 6.15 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Lei (檑) Fig. 6.16 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Lang Ya Pai (狼牙拍) Fig. 6.17 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Man (幔) Fig. 6.18 Jun Zi Cheng
Type I 《軍資乘》
Huo Zi Ban Yun Lun Ma Zhu
(活字板韻輪) Fig. 6.19 《麻苧》
Type I
Mu Mian Jiao Che Kuang Xu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(木棉攪車) Fig. 6.20 《纊絮》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Type I
Bo Che (紴車) Fig. 6.21 Ma Zhu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
Type I 《麻苧》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Tao Che (陶車) Fig. 6.22 Tao Yan
Type I 《陶埏》
6 Roller Devices
References 135

References

Lu JY (2003) History of Chinese machinery (in Chinese). Ancient Chinese machinery cultural
foundation (Tainan, Taiwan). Yuen Yin Publishing House, Taipei 陸敬嚴,中國機械史,中華
古機械文教基金會(台南,台灣),越吟出版社,台北,2003年。
Mao YY (Ming Dynasty) (2001) Wu Bei Zhi (in Chinese). Henan Education Press, Henan 《武
備志》;茅元儀[明朝]撰,海南出版社,海南,2001年。
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese). Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai 《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Shi SH (1981) Annotation of Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese). Ming Wen Bookstore, Taipei
《農政全書校注》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,石聲漢校注,明文書局,台北,1981年。
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1991) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing 《農
書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of inventions in chinese mechanical
engineering (in Chinese), 2nd en, Tsinghua University Press, Beijing 張春輝、游戰洪、吳宗
澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年。
Chapter 7
Linkage Mechanisms

Abstract Ancient Chinese mechanical devices with linkage mechanisms can be


divided by functions into four types: levers, pumping tubes, grain processing
devices, and other devices. This chapter presents the functions and components of
the devices. Then, according to the degree of clarity of the illustrations, by
applying the procedure described in Chap. 5, the numbers of members and the
possible types of joints are analyzed, and all feasible designs of the devices are
synthesized.

7.1 Levers

There are eight devices with levers, including Ta Dui (踏碓, a foot-operated pestle,
a tap pestle), Cao Dui (槽碓, a water-driven pestle, a through pestle), Si (鐁, a
grass cutting device), Sang Jia (桑夾, a mulberry cutting device), Lian Jia (連枷, a
flail), Quan Heng (權衡, a weighing balance), He Yin (鶴飲, a water lifting
device), and Jie Gao (桔槔, a shadoof, a counterweight lever). Each of these
devices is presented below:

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 137
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_7,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
138 7 Linkage Mechanisms

7.1.1 Ta Dui (踏碓, A Foot-Operated Pestle), Cao Dui


(槽碓, A Water-Driven Pestle)

Pestle devices such as Ta Dui (踏碓) and Cao Dui (槽碓), that pound grains by a
hammer and remove the husks from rice or wheat, have been widely applied since
the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) (Zhang et al. 2004). The operating method of
the devices is similar to a hand-operated mortar with a pestle. The effect of the
device depends on the mass of its hammer head and also on the speed at which the
hammer head hits the grains. Through the function of levers, pestle devices not
only save effort but can also be easily operated at work.
Ta Dui (踏碓, a foot-operated pestle’a tap pestle) consists of a wooden frame, a
stone hammer head, and a wooden handle as shown in Fig. 7.1a (Pan 1998). The
stone hammer head is connected to the wooden handle as an assembly namely the
tilted hammer. The tilted hammer along with the wooden frame as the fulcrum
constitutes a lever. During operation, the operator taps the end of the tilted
hammer’s handle by his foot. The function of lever helps the hammer’s head reach
the required speed and momentum (the product of the mass and the speed of the
hammer head) when falling down.
Cao Dui (槽碓, a water-driven pestle’a trough pestle), as shown in Fig. 7.1b
(Wang 1991), has a similar structure as Ta Dui except that it includes a water-
scooping container at the end of its tilted hammer. The device is usually installed
near water. When it draws water from upstream into the container, the water’s
weight presses down one end of the tilted hammer and causes the other end of the
hammer head to rise. Then the container rotates, the water inside goes out, and the
hammer head falls down to pestle the grains since the weight of the hammer head
is over the empty container again.
Although Ta Dui and Cao Dui have different power sources, they have the same
structural characteristics. Both of them are a linkage mechanism with two mem-
bers and one joint. They both have a wooden frame (member 1, KF) and a tilted
hammer as the moving link (member 2, KL). The tilted hammer is connected to the
frame with an uncertain joint Jα. They are Type II mechanisms with uncertain
types of joints. Figure 7.1c shows its structural sketch. Considering the types and
the directions of motion of the tilted hammer, Jα has three possible types: the tilted
hammer rotates about the x-axis, denoted as JRx, as shown in Fig. 7.1d1; the tilted
hammer not only rotates about the x-axis but also translates along the x-axis,
Px
denoted as JRx , as shown in Fig. 7.1d2; and the tilted hammer not only rotates
Pxz
about the x and y axes, but also translates along the x and z axes, denoted as JRxy ,
as shown in Fig. 7.1d3. The translation along the x-axis or z-axis is to enable them
to more easily pestle grain from the corresponding direction. Figure 7.1e shows an
imitation of the original illustration of a foot-operated pestle in the book Tian
Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》.
7.1 Levers 139

(a) (b)

(c)

(d)

(d1) (d2) (d3)


(e)

Fig. 7.1 Pestle devices. a A tap pestle (踏碓) (Pan 1998), b A trough pestle (槽碓) (Wang 1991),
c Structural sketch, d Atlas of feasible designs, e Imitation of original illustration (Yan and Hsiao
2010)
140 7 Linkage Mechanisms

7.1.2 Si (鐁, A Grass Cutting Device), Sang Jia


(桑夾, A Mulberry Cutting Device)

Si (鐁, a grass cutting device) and Sang Jia (桑夾, a mulberry cutting device) are
both cutting devices for processing forage as shown in Fig. 7.2a, b (Wang 1991). Si
is used to cut grass to feed cows, and Sang Jia cuts mulberry to raise silk worms.
Their components are similar and include a knife made from wrought iron and a
wooden base. The tip of the knife is passed through by a thin rod that is connected
to the base.
The operator uses one hand to place the forage or mulberry under the knife, and
the other hand presses the handle down to cut them up. It is a linkage mechanism
with two members and one joint, including the base as the frame (member 1, KF)
and a knife as the moving link (member 2, KL). The knife is connected to the frame
with a revolute joint JRz. It is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure.
Figure 7.2c shows the structural sketch.

7.1.3 Lian Jia (連枷, A Flail)

To separate the seeds from their pods, grains may be simply hit with a Lian Jia (連
枷, a flail) after harvesting as shown in Fig. 7.3a (Wang 1991; Pan 1998). The seed
pods are spread on the hard ground, and the flail is applied by swinging the handle.
After the seeds have been flailed, the pods and leaves are blown off with a

Fig. 7.2 Cutting devices. a A grass cutting device (鐁) (Wang 1991), b A mulberry cutting
device (桑夾) (Wang 1991), c Structural sketch
7.1 Levers 141

(a)

(b)

(c)

(c1) (c 2 ) (c 3 )

(d)

Fig. 7.3 A flail (連枷). a Original illustration (Wang 1991; Pan 1998), b Structural sketch,
c Atlas of feasible designs, d Imitation of original illustration (Hsiao and Yan 2010)
142 7 Linkage Mechanisms

winnowing device. This is followed by sieving. Thus, the good seeds are made
ready for storage in the barn. It is a linkage mechanism with two members and one
joint including the handle as an input link (member 1, KI) and the wooden rod as a
moving link (member 2, KL). The input link is connected to the moving link with
an uncertain joint Jα. It is a Type II mechanism with uncertain types of joints.
Figure 7.3b shows its structural sketch.
Considering the types and the directions of motion of the moving link, uncertain
Px
joint Jα could be a revolute joint JRz, a spherical joint JRxyz, or a pin joint JRz . By
Px
assigning each possible type (JRz、JRxyz、JRz ) into the structural sketch, the atlas
of the feasible designs can be obtained as shown in Figs. 7.3c1–c3. Figure 7.3d
shows an imitation of the original illustration of how to use the flail in the book
Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》.

7.1.4 Quan Heng (權衡, A Weighing Balance)

A rope is hung on a lever as a fulcrum, from one end of the lever hangs a heavy
object, and from the other end hangs weights or Cheng Chui (秤錘, the sliding
weight of a steelyard). The function of such a device is to measure weights and is
called a Quan Heng (權衡, a weighing balance) or Heng Qi (衡器). Quan means
weights or Cheng Chui, and Heng means scale beam. Quan Heng can be used to
measure the degree of the bowstrings’ stress as shown in Fig. 7.4a (Pan 1998).
Firstly, the heavy object is hanging in the middle of the bow. The bowstring is
connected to the scale hook. When the bowstring is tensed, the Cheng Chui is
moved to balance the whole device. Then, the degree of the bowstrings’ stress can
be measured. This device includes a scale link (member 1, KL), a hanging rope
(member 2, KT1), and a scale rope with a hook (member 3, KT2). The scale link is
connected to the hanging rope and the scale rope with thread joints JT. It is a Type
I mechanism with a clear structure. Figure 7.4b shows the structural sketch.

Fig. 7.4 Quan Heng (權衡). a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural sketch
7.1 Levers 143

7.1.5 He Yin (鶴飲, A Water Lifting Device)

He Yin (鶴飲, a water lifting device) is a device to draw water from a lower
position to a higher level for irrigation as shown in Fig. 7.5a (Ortai et al. 1965).
The device contains a long slot as a lever and a wooden stand as a fulcrum. The
slot is made from bamboo or wood. At the end of the slot is Hu Dou (戽斗, a
scoop). When the device is working, the scoop falls into the river to scoop water.
Then the scoop is raised, the water in it flows through the slot into the farmland
near the shore. It is a mechanism with two members and one joint, including a
wooden stand as the frame (member 1, KF) and a long slot as the moving link
(member 2, KL). The long slot is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. It
is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure. Figure 7.5b shows the structural
sketch.

Fig. 7.5 A water lifting device (鶴飲). a Original illustration (Ortai et al. 1965), b Structural
sketch

7.1.6 Jie Gao (桔槔, A Shadoof, A Counterweight Lever)

Jie Gao (桔槔, a shadoof, a counterweight lever) is used to lift water from a well or
river, also known as Diao Gan (吊杆), Ba Gan (拔杆), Jia Dou (架斗), or Qiao
(橋) as shown in Fig. 7.6a (Pan 1998). It is the earliest irrigating machine in
ancient China and also a typical application of the principle of lever. Its structure
includes a vertical stand and a lever arm. One end of the lever arm is attached to a
connecting link, and the other end is tied with a heavy stone. Furthermore, the
other end of the connecting link is connected to a water bucket. When the device is
working, the connecting link is pressed down, and the water bucket enters the well
144 7 Linkage Mechanisms

to lift water. Since the lever arm is tied with a heavy stone, when the bucket is full,
it easily rises with very little force (Zhang et al. 2004; Lu et al. 1996).
According the written descriptions and illustration, this device has a clear
number of members. However, the joint Jα between the lever arm and the frame
and the joint Jβ between the lever arm and the connecting link are not clear.
According to the classifying method described in Chap. 5, this device is classified
as a Type II mechanism with uncertain types of joints. It includes the frame
(member 1, KF), a lever arm (member 2, KL1), a connecting link (member 3, KL2),
and a water bucket (member 4, KB). The lever arm is connected to the frame with
an uncertain joint Jα. The connecting link is connected to the lever arm and the
water bucket with an uncertain joint Jβ and a revolute joint JRx, respectively.
Figure 7.6b shows its structural sketch.
The function of the shadoof is to pull the connecting link by hands, through the
lever arm with a heavy stone, to lift water from a lower position. The uncertain
joints may have multiple types to achieve the function of water lifting. Considering
the types and the directions of motion of the lever arm, uncertain joint Jα has three
possible types: the lever arm rotates about the z-axis, denoted as JRz, as shown in
Fig. 7.6c1; the lever arm not only rotates about the z-axis but also translates along
Px
the x-axis, denoted as JRz , as shown in Fig. 7.6c2; and the lever arm not only
rotates about the y and z axes but also translates along the x and z axes, denoted as
Pxz
JRyz , as shown in Fig. 7.6c3. Considering the types and the directions of motion of
the connecting link, uncertain joint Jβ has two possible types: the connecting link
is connected to the lever arm with a revolute joint JRz, as shown in Fig. 7.6c4; and
the connecting link is connected to the lever arm with a revolute joint JRxz, as
shown in Fig. 7.6c5. Figure 7.6d shows an imitation of the original illustration of a
shadoof in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》.

7.2 Pumping Tubes

Pumping tubes are water lifting devices using the principle of siphon to produce
the pressure difference to force water to higher positions. There were three
pumping tubes including Hong Xi (虹吸), Heng Xi (恒升), and Yu Heng (玉衡) in
ancient China. These devices were imported from the West during the Ming and
Qing dynasties (AD 1368–1911) and were usually used to pump water from wells.
Each of them is described below:

7.2.1 Hong Xi (虹吸, A Pumping Tube)

Hong Xi (虹吸) is constructed using a hollow wooden cylinder (member 1, KF), a


horizontal wooden board with a long handle (member 2, KP), and a long tube as
shown in Fig. 7.7a (Ortai et al. 1965). A square hole and a thin gap are located both
7.2 Pumping Tubes 145

(a) (b)

(c)

(c 1) (c2 ) (c3 ) (c 4 ) (c5 )

(d)

Fig. 7.6 A shadoof. a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural sketch, c Atlas of feasible
designs, d Imitation of original illustration (Yan and Hsiao 2010)
146 7 Linkage Mechanisms

on the horizontal wooden board and on the bottom of the wooden cylinder. A thin
wooden piece called a tongue tab is inserted into the gap of both parts where the
tab can slightly rotate and cover the square hole as shown in Fig. 7.7b. The
horizontal wooden board is placed into the cylinder as deep as possible. One end of
the long tube is placed into the well while the other end is connected to the bottom
of the wooden cylinder.

Fig. 7.7 A pumping tube (虹吸). a Original illustration (Ortai et al. 1965), b Tongue tab,
c Structural sketch

The transmission process of the principle of siphon can be divided into four
steps as shown in Fig. 7.8. Each step is described below:

Step 1 The cylinder is empty. The water can not enter the cylinder, and both
tongue tabs at the bottom of the cylinder and on the horizontal wooden
board are closed as shown in Fig. 7.8a.
Step 2 The horizontal wooden board slides up to the top of the cylinder.
Meanwhile, the tongue tab at the bottom of the cylinder is pushed away
by the water pressure from outside, and its square hole is open, so the
water is drawn into the cylinder; the other tongue tab on the horizontal
wooden board is still closed as shown in Fig. 7.8b.
Step 3 The horizontal wooden board slides down to the bottom. Meanwhile, the
tongue tab of the horizontal wooden board is pushed away by the water
pressure inside. The water flows to the square hole on the horizontal
wooden board, while the other tongue tab at the bottom of the cylinder is
pushed closed by the water pressure inside. Therefore, when the
7.2 Pumping Tubes 147

Fig. 7.8 Representation diagram of the principle of siphon. a Step 1, b Step 2, c Step 3, d Step 4

horizontal wooden board slides down to the bottom, the water inside the
cylinder will not be squeezed out of the cylinder again as shown in
Fig. 7.8c.
Step 4 The horizontal wooden cylinder slides up to the top again. This time, the
tongue tab at the bottom of the cylinder opens again, draws more water
from the well into the cylinder, while the tongue tab on the horizontal
wooden board is closed and pushes the water drawn from Step 2 out of
the cylinder, for the purpose of water lifting as shown in Fig. 7.8d.

Through the opening and closing of the tongue tabs, water can only pass
through a singular direction, i.e., from outside the bottom of the wooden cylinder
(in the well) into the inside of the cylinder, then from inside the cylinder to the
outside of the well. Hong Xi is a mechanism with two members and one joint,
including a wooden cylinder as the frame (member 1, KF) and a horizontal wooden
board with a long handle as the piston slider (member 2, KP). The piston slider is
connected to the frame with a prismatic joint JPy. It is a Type I mechanism with a
clear structure. Figure 7.7c shows the structural sketch.

7.2.2 Heng Sheng (恒升, A Pumping Tube)

Heng Sheng (恒升) is based on the structure of Hong Xi but adds one extra lever
arm to be more efficient to move the horizontal wooden board. It is a linkage
mechanism with three members and three joints. Figures 7.9a1–a4 show the geo-
metric graphics of its some parts (Shi 1981). The wooden cylinder and the stand of
the lever arm are fixed as the frame (member 1, KF), the horizontal wooden board is
regarded as the piston slider (member 2, KP), and the lever arm is regarded as the
moving link (member 3, KL). The moving link is connected to the piston slider and
the frame with uncertain joints Jα and Jβ, respectively. It is a Type II mechanism
with uncertain types of joints. The piston slider is connected to the frame with a
148 7 Linkage Mechanisms

prismatic joint JPy. Figure 7.9b shows its structural sketch. To achieve the function
of the device described in the literature, each joint has two possible types, and they
can not be the same, simultaneously. When one joint is a revolute joint JRz, the
Px
other joint not only may rotate but also translate, as a pin joint JRz . Figures 7.9c1–c2
show the atlas of feasible designs.

(a)

(a1) (a 2) (a3) (a 4)

(b) (c1) (c 2 )

Fig. 7.9 A pumping tube (恒升). a Original illustration (Shi 1981), b Structural sketch,
c1 Feasible design 1, c2 Feasible design 2

7.2.3 Yu Heng (玉衡, A Pumping Tube)

Yu Heng (玉衡) is based on the structure of Heng Sheng, but adds one extra set of a
horizontal wooden board with a long handle and a wooden cylinder. Therefore, Yu
Heng is a mechanism with two Heng Sheng. Figures 7.10a1–a4 show the geometric
graphics of its some parts (Shi 1981). Since the lever arm is the input link of the
two Heng Sheng simultaneously, it can cause the two horizontal wooden boards to
rise and fall alternatively. Yu Heng can lift water more efficiently than a Heng
Sheng. Since Yu Heng has a symmetrical structure, only one side of the device is
sufficient for analysis. The structure of Yu Heng is the same as Heng Sheng and is a
Type II mechanism with uncertain types of joints. Figure 7.10b shows its structural
sketch, and Figs. 7.10c1–c2 show the atlas of feasible designs.
7.3 Grain Processing Devices 149

(a)

( a1 ) ( a2 ) ( a3 ) (a 4 )
(b) (c 1 ) (c 2 )

Fig. 7.10 A pumping tube (玉衡). a Original illustration (Shi 1981), b Structural sketch,
c1 Feasible design 1, c2 Feasible design 2

7.3 Grain Processing Devices

There are seven grain processing devices with linkage mechanisms, including Shi
Nian (石碾, a stone roller), Niu Nian (牛碾, a cow-driven roller), Shui Nian (水碾,
a water-driven roller), Gun Nian (輥碾, an animal-driven roller), Long (礱, a mill),
Mian Luo (麫羅, a flour bolter), and Yang Shan (颶扇, a winnowing device). Each
of them is described below:

7.3.1 Shi Nian (石碾, A Stone Roller)

Nian (碾, a roller) is usually used to remove rice husk or wheat bran. It has been in
use since the Era of Three Kingdoms (AD 220–280) (Zhang et al. 2004) and the
power source includes animals or water. Shi Nian (石碾, a stone roller) is a typical
one and consists of a round grinding base, a center shaft standing at the center of
the grinding base, a horizontal shaft, and rotating rolling wheels as shown in
Fig. 7.11a (Wang 1991). The round grinding base is a ring-shaped groove in which
grains are placed. A hole is located at the center of the horizontal shaft attached to
the center shaft of the grinding base. On both ends of the horizontal shaft are two
rolling wheels whose motions are only limited in the groove. While a donkey (the
150 7 Linkage Mechanisms

Fig. 7.11 Rollers. a A stone roller (石碾) (Wang 1991), b A cow-driven roller (牛碾) (Pan
1998), c A water-driven roller (水碾) (Wang 1991), d An animal-driven roller (輥碾) (Wang
1991), e Structural sketch, f1 Feasible design 1, f2 Feasible design 2, g Real object of water-driven
roller (photoed by Guan X. W., in Rong Shui, Guangxi)
7.3 Grain Processing Devices 151

animal as a power source) drags the horizontal shaft around the base, the rolling
wheels in the groove grind grains. The device has two rolling wheels to enhance
production efficiency.

7.3.2 Niu Nian (牛碾, A Cow-Driven Roller)

Niu Nian (牛碾, a cow-driven roller), as shown in Fig. 7.11b (Pan 1998) has a
similar structure as Shi Nian. The difference is that Niu Nian has only one roller.

7.3.3 Shui Nian (水碾, A Water-Driven Roller)

Shui Nian (水碾, a water-driven roller) is made by wood and usually lighter than
Shi Nian as shown in Fig. 7.11c (Wang 1991). It has a similar structure as Shi Nian
but contains a longer center shaft. The center shaft is not the frame but a part of the
horizontal shaft. A horizontal water wheel is installed at the bottom of the center
shaft, so the whole device can be driven by water. It is a mechanism with three
members and three joints.

7.3.4 Gun Nian (輥碾, An Animal-Driven Roller)

Gun Nian (輥碾, an animal-driven roller), as shown in Fig. 7.11d (Wang 1991),
has a grinding base with a lower center and higher edges, with a cylindrical or
conical rolling wheel. Its function is also to remove the husks or hulls, but its
grinding range is wider than other roller devices. Although the geometric char-
acteristic is slightly different from others, its structure is identical to Shi Nian.
Since Shi Nian has a symmetrical structure, only one part of the device is
sufficient for analysis. Therefore, it is a linkage mechanism with three members
and three joints, just the same as the other roller devices. The members consists of
the grinding base as the frame (member 1, KF), the horizontal shaft as the moving
link (member 2, KL), and the rolling wheel (member 3, KO). The horizontal shaft is
connected to the frame and the rolling wheel with a revolute joint JRy and an
uncertain joint Jα, respectively. The roller wheel is connected to the frame with an
uncertain joint Jβ. Therefore, Shi Nian, Niu Nian, Shui Nian, and Gun Nian are
Type II mechanisms with uncertain types of joints. Figure 7.11e shows the
structural sketch. A rectangular coordinate system is defined as shown in
Fig. 7.11a. The z-axis is assigned to the direction of the axle of the horizontal
shaft, the y-axis is the direction of the diameter of the horizontal shaft, and the
x-axis is determined by the right-hand rule. Considering the functions of roller
devices, joint Jβ not only may rotate but also translate, and its characteristics are
152 7 Linkage Mechanisms

similar to the combination of a rolling joint and a prismatic joint, that can be
denoted as JOPx . Meanwhile, joint Jα has two possible types including a revolute
Pz
joint JRz as shown in Fig. 7.11f1 and a cylindrical joint JRz as shown in Fig. 7.11f2.
Figure 7.11g shows a real object of the water-driven roller.

7.3.5 Long ( 礱, A Mill)

Long (礱, a mill) is a mill for removing grain husk and has the similar structure as
Mo (磨, a grinder) as shown in Fig. 7.12a (Wang 1968). It consists of the frame, a
mill disc with a crank, a horizontal rod, and two ropes hung on the horizontal rod.
The operator pushes the horizontal rod by hands to rotate the mill disc on the base,
achieving the purpose of grinding grains (Zhang et al. 2004).
Long is a spatial mechanism with four members and four joints, including the
frame (member 1, KF), a rope (member 2, KT), a horizontal rod (member 3, KL1),
and a mill disc with a crank (member 4, KL2). The rope is connected to the frame
and the horizontal rod with thread joints JT. The mill disc with a crank is connected
to the frame and the horizontal rod with revolute joints JRy. It is a Type I mech-
anism with a clear structure. Figure 7.12b shows the structural sketch.

(a) (b)
KF (1)

JT
KT (2)
JT
KF (1)

KL1 (3) JT
KT (2)
KL1 (3)
JRy JRy JT

JRy KL2 (4)


y KL2 (4) JRy
x
KF (1)
z KF (1)

Fig. 7.12 A mill (礱). a Original illustration (Wang 1968), b Structural sketch
7.3 Grain Processing Devices 153

7.3.6 Mian Luo (麫羅, A Flour Bolter)

Mian Luo (麫羅, a flour bolter) is a powder-sieving device as shown in Fig. 7.13a
(Ortai et al. 1965). Its function is to separate fine powders from other rough parts.
The members include a box (frame), a treadle with a swing rod, a connecting link
with a flour-sieving screen, and the rope. The flour-sieving screen is made from
bamboo or wood. The bottom of the screen is covered by a mesh with tiny holes,
and the connecting link is fixed on the screen and extends out the box. The swing
rod is set on the center of the treadle. During operation, the grain is placed on the
cloth in the screen. The operator pedals alternatively on the treadle to produce the
oscillating motion of the swing rod and the connecting link with the flour-sieving
screen to get fine powder. Furthermore, the colliding bar (fixed as the frame)
outside the box stands on the moving range of the connecting link, causing the
connecting link to hit the colliding bar during operation to enhance the effect of the
flour-sieving (Feng and Tong 2009).
Mian Luo is a mechanism with four members and four joints, including the
frame (member 1, KF), a treadle with a swing rod (member 2, KL1), a connecting
link with a flour-sieving screen (member 3, KL2), and the rope (member 4, KT). The
treadle is connected to the frame and the connecting link with revolute joints JRz,
and the rope is connected to the frame and the flour-sieving screen with thread
joints JT. It is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure. Figure 7.13b shows the
structural sketch.

(a) (b)

KF (1)

JT

KF (1)
KL2 (3)
KT (4)
JT
KT (4)
JT JRz KL2 (3)
KL1 (2)
JT
KL1 (2)
JR z JR z
y
x JRz

z KF (1)

Fig. 7.13 A flour bolter (麫羅). a Original illustration (Ortai et al. 1965), b Structural sketch
154 7 Linkage Mechanisms

7.3.7 Yang Shan (颶扇, A Winnowing Device)

Yang Shan (颶扇, a winnowing device) is a foot-operated device to remove husks


and dirt as shown in Fig. 7.14a from the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》
(Sun and Sun 1966). Through the oscillating motion of the treadle (member 2,
KTr), the crank with vanes (member 3 KW) is driven by the connecting link(s) to
spin to achieve the function. Since it is hard to define how the oscillating motion of
the treadle transforms to the rotation of the crank through the connecting link(s),
this device is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members

(a)

(b)

(b1( (b 2(

(b3( (b4( (b 5(

Fig. 7.14 A foot-operated winnowing device. a Original illustration (Sun and Sun 1966), b Atlas
of feasible designs
7.3 Grain Processing Devices 155

and joints. The process of the reconstruction design is described in Sect. 5.3.
Figures 7.14b1–b5 show the 3D solid models of the feasible designs.

7.4 Other Devices

There are four devices with linkage mechanisms that can not be classified under
the above mentioned three types, including Feng Xiang (風箱, a wind box), Shui
Pai (水排, a water-driven), Shui Ji Mian Luo (水擊麫羅, a water-driven flour
bolter), and Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽, an iron roller). Each of them is described
below:

7.4.1 Feng Xiang (風箱, A Wind Box)

Feng Xiang (風箱, a wind box) is a common device for blast metallurgy in ancient
China as shown in Fig. 7.15a (Pan 1998). The operator pushes the piston of the
device to increase air pressure, thereby opening and closing the valve. It can
provide successively higher wind pressure and wind volume to enhance the
intensity of the metal and increase production.
Feng Xiang is a planar mechanism with two members and one joint, including a
box as the frame (member 1, KF) and a pushing rod outside the box with the piston
inside. The pushing rod is connected to the piston as an assembly (member 2, KP).

(a) (b)

KP (2)

J Px

KF (1)

Fig. 7.15 A wind box (風箱). a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural sketch
156 7 Linkage Mechanisms

The piston is connected to the frame with a prismatic joint J Px . It is a Type I


mechanism with a clear structure. Figure 7.15b shows the structural sketch.

7.4.2 Shui Pai (水排, A Water-Driven Wind Box)

Nong Shu《農書》(Wang 1991) shows another device for blast metallurgy in


ancient China namely Wo Lun Shi Shui Pai (臥輪式水排, a horizontal-wheel
water-driven wind box) as shown in Fig. 7.16. The function of the device is to
transmit water power through its linkage mechanism for wind blasting. The
structure and the transmission process are explained as follows: A vertical shaft
contains the upper and lower horizontal wheels. One half of the lower wheel is
installed under the water, and both wheels are fixed to the shaft. The upper wheel
is encircled by a rope. The rope also passes around the wooden cylinder with a
crank. The connected link is attached to the crank and the left bar. The horizontal
shaft is connected to the left and right bars as an assembly. The long rod is
connected to the right bar and the wooden fan of the blast furnace. When flowing
water spins the lower wheel, through the drive of the vertical shaft, the upper
wheel spins as well. The motion is transmitted via the thick rope to the wooden
cylinder with a crank. The crank drives the connecting link and the left bar of the
horizontal shaft. The right bar pushes the long rod to generate the oscillating
motion of the wooden fan for blasting wind into the box (Liu 1962).

Fig. 7.16 A horizontal-


wheel water-driven wind box
(Wang 1991)

There are many illogical or unclear parts in the illustration of the device, such
as the rope (member 3) on the wooden cylinder (member 4) is too thick, the crank
(member 4) is located in the wrong position, the connecting link (member 5) has
unclear joints on both ends, and the long rod (member 7) passes over the left bar
(member 6). Figure 7.17 shows the result of the reconstruction design by Liu Xian-
zhou (劉仙洲, AD 1890–1975) (Liu 1962). Although some of the unclear structure
7.4 Other Devices 157

have been solved, such as, making the diameter of the rope thinner, adjusting the
position of the crank, solving the problem of the long rod passing over the left bar,
and assigning the two revolute joints on both ends of the connecting link. How-
ever, for the connecting link, how the two assigned revolute joints can transform
the rotating motion of the crank into the oscillating motion of the left bar is still
unclear.

Fig. 7.17 A horizontal-


wheel water-driven wind box
revised by Liu (Liu 1962)

According to the classifying method described in Chap. 5, the device is a Type


II mechanism with uncertain types of joints. The rectangular coordinate system is
defined as shown in Fig. 7.17. The x-axis is defined as the direction of the axle of
the horizontal shaft, the y-axis is defined as the direction of the diameter of the
horizontal shaft, and the z-axis is based on the right-hand rule. The device can be
divided into three parts: a rope and pulley mechanism, a spatial crank and rocker
mechanism, and a planar double rocker mechanism (Hsiao et al. 2010). Each of
them is explained below:
1. The rope and pulley mechanism includes the frame (member 1, KF), a vertical
shaft with the upper and lower wheels (member 2, KU1), a rope (member 3, KT),
and a wooden cylinder with a crank (member 4, KU2). The vertical shaft is
connected to the frame (KF) and the rope (KT) with a revolute joint JRy and a
wrapping joint JW, respectively. The wooden cylinder (KU2) is connected to the
rope (KT) and the frame (KF) with a wrapping joint JW and a revolute joint JRy,
respectively. Figure 7.18a shows the structural sketch.
2. The spatial crank and rocker mechanism includes the frame (member 1, KF), a
wooden cylinder with a crank (member 4, KU2), a connecting link (member 5,
KL1), and a horizontal shaft with the left and right bars (member 6, KL2). The
wooden cylinder (KU2) is connected to the frame (KF) with a revolute joint JRy.
The connecting link (KL1) is connected to the wooden cylinder (KU2) and the
horizontal shaft (KL2) with uncertain joints Jα and Jβ, respectively. The
158 7 Linkage Mechanisms

horizontal shaft (KL2) is connected to the frame (KF) with a revolute joint JRx.
Figure 7.18b shows the structural sketch.
3. The planar double rock mechanism includes the frame (member 1, KF), a
horizontal shaft with the left and right bars (member 6, KL2), a long rod
(member 7, KL3), and a wooden fan as the output link (member 8, KL4). The
horizontal shaft (KL2) is connected to the frame (KF) and the long rod (KL3)
with revolute joints JRx. The wooden fan (KL4) is connected to the long rod
(KL3) and the frame (KF) with revolute joints JRx. Figure 7.18c shows the
structural sketch.

Fig. 7.18 Structural sketch of a horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box. a Rope and pulley
mechanism, b Spatial crank and rocker mechanism, c Planar double rocker mechanism

The function of the spatial crank and rocker mechanism is to transform the
rotating motion of the crank (member 4, KU2), through the drive of the connecting
link (member 5, KL1), to the oscillating motion of the horizontal shaft (member 6,
KL2). The two joints on both ends of the connecting link have multiple possible
types that could achieve the function mentioned above. Considering the types and
the directions of motion of the connecting link and the crank, uncertain joint Jα has
three possible types: the first one is that the connecting link is connected to the
crank with a revolute joint JRxy; the second one is that the connecting link is
connected to the crank with a spherical joint JRxyz; and the last one is that the
Pz
connecting link is connected to the crank with a joint JRxy . Considering the types
and the directions of motion of the connecting link and the left bar, uncertain joint
Jβ has three possible types: the first is that the connecting link is connected to the
left bar with a revolute joint JRxy; the second is that the connecting link is
7.4 Other Devices 159

connected to the left bar with a spherical joint JRxyz; and the third is that the
Pz
connecting link is connected to the left bar with a joint JRxy .
Pz
By assigning the possible joints Jα(JRxy、JRxyz、 JRxy ) and Jβ(JRxy、JRxyz、
Pz
JRxy ) into the structural sketch shown in Fig. 7.18b, nine results are obtained.
However, when joints Jα and Jβ are of the same type JRxy simultaneously, the
device would fail to move. By removing such a case, eight feasible designs of the
horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box are obtained as shown in Figs. 7.19a–h.
Figures 7.20 and 7.21 show the simulation illustration and the prototype of the
horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box according to the design shown in
Fig. 7.19g.

(a) (b)
1 JW 1 JW
3 3
JW J Ry Pz
J Rxy
JW J Ry
J Rx J Rxyz J Rx
J Rx J Ry J Rx J Ry
J Rx J Rx
7 6 5 1 7 6 5 1
J Rxy 4 2 J Rxy 4 2
J Rx 1 J Rx 1
8 8

1 1

(c) (d) (e)


1
JW 1
JW 1
JW
3 3 3
JW J Ry J Rxyz JW J Ry Pz
J Rxy JW J Ry
J Rx J Rx J Rxy J Rx J Rx J Rx J Rx
J Ry J Ry J Ry
J Rx J Rx J Rx
7 6 5 1 7 6 5 1 7 6 5 1
2 2 2
J Rx J Rxyz 1 4 J Rx J Rxyz 1 4 J Rx J Rxyz 1 4
8 8 8

1 1 1

(f) (g) (h)


1
JW 1
JW 1
JW
3 3 3
JW J Ry J Rxyz JW J Ry Pz
J Rxy JW J Ry
J Rx J Rx J Rxy J Rx J Rx J Rx J Rx
J Ry J Ry J Ry
J Rx J Rx J Rx
7 6 5 1 7 6 5 1 7 6 5 1
4 2 4 2 4 2
J Rx Pz
J Rxy 1 J Rx Pz
J Rxy 1 J Rx Pz
J Rxy 1
8 8 8

1 1 1

Fig. 7.19 Atlas of feasible designs of the horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box

7.4.3 Shui Ji Mian Luo (水擊麫羅, A Water-Driven Flour


Bolter)

Shui Ji Mian Luo (水擊麫羅, a water-driven flour bolter), as shown in Fig. 7.22a
(Wang 1991), has the same function as Mian Luo (麫羅) described in Sect. 7.3.
160 7 Linkage Mechanisms

Crank (4)
Wooden cylinder (4)
Pz
J Rxy JRy
Connecting link (5) JRy
Box (1) Rope (3)
Wooden fan (8)
Left bar (6)
JRx J Rxyz
JRx
Long rod (7) JW
Vertical shaft (2)

JW
Horizontal shaft (6)
Right bar (6)
JRx
JRx

Lower wheel (2)

Fig. 7.20 Simulation illustration of a horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box (Hsiao et al. 2010)

Fig. 7.21 A prototype of a horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box


7.4 Other Devices 161

(a)

(b)
1 JW 1 JW
3 3
JT JW J Ry JT Pz
J Rxy
JW J Ry
8 J Rx J Rxyz 8 J Rx
J Ry J Ry
JT 7 JT 7
6 5 1 6 5 1
J Rxy 4 2 J Rxy 4 2
J Rx 1 J Rx 1

1 1

(b1( (b 2(
1 JW 1 JW 1 JW
3 3 3
JT
J Rx J Rxy
JW J Ry JT J Rx J Rxyz JW J Ry JT
J Rx
Pz
J Rxy JW J Ry
8 8 8
J Ry J Ry J Ry
JT 7 JT 7 JT 7
6 5 1 6 5 1 6 5 1
2 2 2
J Rx J Rxyz 1 4 J Rx J Rxyz 1 4 J Rx J Rxyz 1 4

1 1 1

(b3( (b4( (b 5(
1 JW 1 JW 1 JW
3 3 3
JT JW J Ry JT J Rxyz JW J Ry JT Pz
J Rxy JW J Ry
8 J Rx J Rxy 8 J Rx 8 J Rx
J Ry J Ry J Ry
JT 7 JT 7 JT 7
6 5 1 6 5 1 6 5 1
4 2 4 2 4 2
J Rx J Pz
Rxy 1 J Rx J Pz
Rxy
1 J Rx J Pz
Rxy
1

1 1 1
(b6( (b7( (b 8(

Fig. 7.22 A water-driven flour bolter. a Original illustration (Wang 1991), b Atlas of feasible
designs

The structure of Shui Ji Mian Luo is similar to the horizontal-wheel water-driven


wind box, but it replaces the long rod, wooden fan, and blast furnace on the
horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box into the connecting link with a flour-
sieving screen, rope, and box, respectively. It is a Type II mechanism with
uncertain types of joints. This device can be divided into three parts: a rope and
pulley mechanism, a spatial crank and rocker mechanism, and a connecting link
and rope mechanism. Shui Ji Mian Luo sieves grains through the reciprocating
motion of the connecting link with a flour-sieving screen (member 7).
Figures 7.22b1–b8 show the feasible designs of the water-driven flour bolter.
162 7 Linkage Mechanisms

7.4.4 Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽, An Iron Roller)

Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽, an iron roller), as shown in Fig. 7.23a, is mainly used to
grind cinnabar ore. People use the device to grind ore into powder for the red color
dye (Pan 1998). The reconstruction design of Tie Nian Cao is described in Sect. 5.3.
It is a (3, 3) planar mechanism and is a Type II mechanism with uncertain types of
joints. Figures 7.23b1–b3 show the feasible designs of the iron roller.

(a)

(b)

(b1( (b 2( (b3(

Fig. 7.23 An iron roller. a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Atlas of feasible designs

7.5 Summary

Based on the view of modern mechanisms, this chapter analyzes 22 linkage


mechanisms in the ancient books described in Chap. 2, as listed in Table 7.1. There
are totally 22 original illustrations, 16 structural sketches, six simulation
Table 7.1 Linkage mechanisms (22 items)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 Tong Kao 《欽定授時通考》
7.5 Summary

Ta Dui (踏碓) Chu Jiu Gao Yi Nong Qi Gong Zhi


Dui Chong (碓舂) 《杵臼》 《膏液》 《農器》 《攻治》
Figure 7.1 Sui Jing
Type II 《碎精》
Cao Dui Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
(槽碓) 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Figure 7.1
Type II
Si Zhi Ai Nong Qi Mu Shi
(鐁) 《銍艾》 《農器》 《牧事》
Figure 7.2
Type I
Sang Jia Can Sang Can Sang Can Shi
(桑夾) 《蠶桑》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Figure 7.2
Type I
Lian Jia (連枷) Pa Ba Sui Jing Nong Qi Shou Huo
Da Jia (打枷) 《杷朳》 《碎精》 《農器》 《收穫》
Figure 7.3
Type II
Quan Heng Jia Bing
(權衡) 《佳兵》
Figure 7.4
Type I
(continued)
163
Table 7.1 (continued)
164

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 Tong Kao 《欽定授時通考》
He Yin Tai Xi Sui Fa
(鶴飲) 《泰西水法》
Figure 7.5
Type I
Jie Gao Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(桔槹) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Figure 7.6
Type II
Hong Xi Tai Xi Sui Fa
(虹吸) 《泰西水法》
Figure 7.7
Type I
Heng Sheng Jun Zi Cheng Shui Li Tai Xi Sui Fa
(恒升) 《軍資乘》 《水利》 《泰西水法》
Figure 7.9
Type II
Yu Heng Jun Zi Cheng Shui Li Tai Xi Sui Fa
(玉衡) 《軍資乘》 《水利》 《泰西水法》
Figure 7.10
Type II
Shi Nian (石碾) Chu Jiu Nong Qi
Nian (碾) 《杵臼》 《農器》
Figure 7.11
Type II
Niu Nian Sui Jing
(牛碾) 《碎精》
Figure 7.11
7 Linkage Mechanisms

Type II
(continued)
Table 7.1 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 Tong Kao 《欽定授時通考》
7.5 Summary

Shui Nian Chu Jiu Sui Jing Shui Li Gong Zhi


(水碾) 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《水利》 《攻治》
Figure 7.11
Type II
Gun Nian (輥碾) Chu Jiu Nong Qi Gong Zhi
Hai Qing Nian (海青碾) 《杵臼》 《農器》 《攻治》
Figure 7.11
Type II
Long (礱) Chu Jiu Gao Yi Nong Qi Gong Zhi
Mu Long (木礱) 《杵臼》 《膏液》 《農器》 《攻治》
Tu Long (土礱) Sui Jing
Figure 7.12 《碎精》
Type I
Mian Luo Sui Jing Gong Zhi
(麫羅) 《碎精》 《攻治》
Figure 7.13
Type I
Yang Shan Sui Jing Nong Qi Gong Zhi
(颺扇) 《碎精》 《農器》 《攻治》
Figure 7.14
Type III
Feng Xiang Ye Zhu
(風箱) 《冶鑄》
Figure 7.15 Chui Duan
Type I 《錘鍛》
Wu Jin
《五金》
165

(continued)
Table 7.1 (continued)
166

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 Tong Kao 《欽定授時通考》
Wo Lun Shi Shui Pai Li Yong Shui Li
(臥輪式水排) 《利用》 《水利》
Figure 7.15
Type II
Shui Ji Mian Luo Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
(水擊麫羅) 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Figure 7.22
Type II
Tie Nian Cao Dan Qing
(鐵碾槽) 《丹青》
Figure 7.23
Type II
7 Linkage Mechanisms
7.5 Summary 167

illustrations, four imitation illustrations, one prototype, and one real object
described in this chapter. Since a linkage mechanism can generate many kinds of
kinematic characteristics including the transformations of directions, they were
widely applied in a variety of primitive industries in ancient China. Among the
devices mentioned above, there are eight mechanisms (Si, Sang Jia, Quan Heng,
He Yin, Hong Xi, Long, Mian Luo, Feng Xiang) with clear structures (Type I), 13
mechanisms (Ta Dui, Cao Dui, Lian Jia, Jie Gao, Heng Sheng, Yu Heng, Shi Nian,
Niu Nian, Shui Nian, Gun Nian, Wo Lun Shi Shui Pai, Shui Ji Mian Luo, Tie Nian
Cao) with uncertain types of joints (Type II), and one mechanism (Yang Shan)
with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints (Type III). Furthermore,
their power sources include human, animals, and water.

References

Feng LS, Tong QJ (2009) Crank-connecting rod mechanism: its applications in Ancient China
and its origin. International symposium on history of machines and mechanisms, pp 235–250.
Springer, Dordrecht
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2010) Structural identification of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Chin Soc Mech Eng, Taipei 31(5):383–392
Hsiao KH, Lin JL, Chen YH, Yan HS (2010) Systematic reconstruction synthesis of the water-
driven wind box in Nong Shu. Chinese Agriculture Science Technology Press, Beijing,
pp 183–189 (in Chinese). 蕭國鴻、林建良、陳羽薰、顏鴻森,“農書中水力驅動鼓風裝置
(水排)之系統化復原綜合”,中國農業科學技術出版社,北京,183-189頁,2010年。
Liu XZ (1962) History of inventions in Chinese Mechanical Engineering, 1st edn. Science Press,
Beijing (in Chinese). 劉仙洲,中國機械工程發明史 - 第一編,科學出版社,北京,1962年。
Lu BS, Zhang BC, Liu SZ (1996) Uses of Shadoof and Pulley in Shang and Zhou Dynasties
found in Tong Ling. China Historical Materials of Science and Technology, Roll 17, Issue 2,
pp 73–80 (in Chinese). 盧本珊、張柏春、劉詩中,“銅岭商周礦用桔槹與滑車及其使用方
式”,中國科技史料,第17卷,第2期,頁73-80,1996年。
Ortai et al. (Qing Dynasty) (1965) Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao (1965) (in Chinese), included in
Siku Quanshu Rare Edition (edited by Wang Yun-wu). Taiwan Commercial Press, Taipei.
《欽定授時通考》;鄂爾泰[清朝]等編,收錄於四庫全書珍本(王雲五主編),台灣商務印書
館,台北,1965年。
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese). Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai. 《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Shi SH (1981) Annotation of Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese). Wen Bookstore, Taipei. 《農
政全書校注》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,石聲漢校注,明文書局,台北,1981年。
Sun EZ, Sun SC (1966) Chinese technology in the seventeenth century. Dover Publications, New
York
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1968) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Taiwan Commercial Press, Taipei. 《農
書》;王禎[元朝]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1968年。
Wang Z (1991) (Yuan Dynasty) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing.
《農書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Yan HS, Hsiao KH (2010) Structural synthesis of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Adv Mech Des Syst Manuf Jpn Soc Mech Eng 4(4):773–784
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of inventions in Chinese Mechanical
Engineering (in Chinese), 2nd edn. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing. 張春輝、游戰洪、吳
宗澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年。
Chapter 8
Gear and Cam Mechanisms

Abstract Ancient Chinese mechanical devices with gear and cam members can
be divided by functions into three types: agricultural devices with gears, water
lifting devices with gears, and cam mechanisms. This chapter presents the uses and
components of the devices, analyzes the numbers and the types of members and
joints, and provides their structural sketches.

8.1 Agricultural Devices with Gears

There are six agricultural devices with gears, including Zha Zhe Ji (榨蔗機, a
cane crushing device), Lian Mo (連磨, a multiple grinder), Shui Mo (水磨, a water-
driven grinder), Lian Er Shui Mo (連二水磨, a water-driven two-grinder), Shui
Zhuan Lian Mo (水轉連磨, a water-driven multiple grinder), and Shui Long (水礱,
a water-driven mill). Each of these devices is a Type I mechanism with a clear
structure and is described below:

8.1.1 Zha Zhe Ji (榨蔗機, A Cane Crushing Device)

Zha Zhe Ji (榨蔗機, a cane crushing device) in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工
開物》is a simple and typical gear train with one degree of freedom as shown in
Fig. 8.1a (Pan 1998). Its structure contains the frame constructed by four wooden
pieces, a plow carrier, and two large wooden sticks (or stone pillars). The wooden
sticks (or stone pillars) are considered to be the gears and have carved teeth
meshing with each other. The axle on the driving gear extends over the top of the
upper horizontal board in order to be attached to the plow carrier. Since there is no

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 169
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_8,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
170 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

(d)

Fig. 8.1 A cane crushing device (榨蔗機), a Original illustration (Pan 1998) b Structural sketch
c Real objects of gears (photoed at Kaohsiung Qiaotuo Sugar Refinery Factory) d Imitation of
original illustration
171

relative motion between the axle and the plow carrier, they can be considered as
the same member. The plow carrier, made up of a 4.5 m-long bent wood, is used to
hold the cow (the animal as the power source) to rotate around the device. The
cane is placed between the two wooden sticks (or stone pillars), driven by the
animal to extract the sugarcane pulp.
It is a mechanism with three members and three joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), a driving gear with a plow carrier (member 2, KG1), and a driven
gear (member 3, KG2). The driving and driven gears are both connected to the
frame with revolute joints. The direction of the axle is vertical, so the joints are
denoted as JRy, and the meshing activity between the gears can be considered as a
gear joint JG. Figure 8.1b shows the structural sketch. Figure 8.1c shows the real
objects of stone driving and driven gears. Figure 8.1d shows an imitation of the
original illustration in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》. In the original
illustration, the shape of one gear tooth must be designed to be opposite to the
shape of the other gear tooth, so that the gear train can mesh with each other
properly.

8.1.2 Lian Mo (連磨, A Multiple Grinder)

In order to improve the efficiency of grain processing, Lian Mo (連磨, a multiple


grinder), that can drive multiple grinders, was invented during the West Jin
Dynasty (AD 265–316) (Zhang et al. 2004). Lian Mo is a set of eight devices of
Mo (磨, a grinder) installed around a large gear. The eight grinding discs are
attached with eight small gears, and the small gears mesh with the large gear, as
shown in Fig. 8.2a (Wang 1991).
The large gear is driven by animals. Through the transmission of the large gear,
each Mo rotates at the same time and so as to enhance the productivity greatly as
shown in Fig. 8.2b. Since each Mo has the same allocation, using only one set is
sufficient for analysis. The device is a mechanism with three members and three
joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a large gear (member 2, KG1), and a
small gear (member 3, KG2). The large gear and the small gear are connected to the
frame with revolute joints JRy, the meshing activity among the gears can be
considered as a gear joint JG. Figure 8.2c shows the structural sketch.

8.1.3 Shui Mo (水磨, A Water-Driven Grinder), Lian Er Shui


Mo ( 連二水磨, A Water-Driven Two-Grinder)

Shui Mo (水磨, a water-driven grinder) and Lian Er Shui Mo (連二水磨, a water-


driven two-grinder), have a similar structure as Lian Mo (連磨) but are powered by
water instead of animals, as shown in Figs. 8.3a and b (Pan 1998; Shi 1981). Shui
172 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

(a)

(b) (c)
KG1 (2)

KG1 (2)
JRy
KG2 (3)
JRy

KF (1)
KF (1)

JG JRy
KG2 (3)
KF (1)

Fig. 8.2 A multiple grinder (連磨), a Original illustration (Wang 1991) b Simulation illustration
c Structural sketch

Mo consists of a vertical water wheel, a long shaft, a vertical gear, and a grinding
gear. Lian Er Shui Mo adds an extra pair of vertical and grinding gears into the
structure of Shui Mo in order to increase productivity. When the water wheel on
the device rotates, the long shaft and vertical gear rotate as well. The power
transmits from the water wheel, through the meshing activity of the gears, to the
grinding disc(s).
Lian Er Shui Mo has the same allocations on both vertical and grinding gears,
so that using only one set is sufficient for analysis. These two devices are both a
mechanism with three members and three joints, including the frame (member 1,
KF), a vertical gear with a long shaft and a vertical water wheel (member 2, KG1),
and a grinding gear (member 3, KG2). The vertical gear is connected to the frame
with a revolute joint, denoted as JRx. The grinding gear is connected to the frame
173

Fig. 8.3 Water-driven grinders (水磨), a A water-driven grinder (Pan 1998) b A water-driven
two-grinder (Shi 1981) c Structural sketch d Imitation of original illustration

with a revolute joint, denoted as JRy. The meshing activity between the gears can
be considered as a gear joint JG. Figure 8.3c shows the corresponding structural
sketch. Figure 8.3d shows an imitation of the original illustration of Shui Mo in the
book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》.

8.1.4 Shui Zhuan Lian Mo (水轉連磨, A Water-Driven


Multiple Grinder), Shui Long (水礱, A Water-Driven
Mill)

Shui Zhuan Lian Mo (水轉連磨, a water-driven multiple grinder) and Shui Long
(水礱, a water-driven mill) have the same basic structure. They are devices with
gear mechanisms to drive multiple grinders or mills as shown in Figs. 8.4a and b
(Wang 1991; Shi 1981). Their components are a water wheel, a long shaft, and
several vertical and grinding gears. The long shaft passes through the vertical
water wheel. Since there is no relative motion between the shaft and vertical water
wheel, they can be considered as the same member. Three grinding gears are
placed in one row. They mesh with one another. The grinding gear in the middle of
174 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

Fig. 8.4 A water-driven multiple grinder and a water-driven, a A water-driven mill multiple
grinder (水轉連磨) (Shi 1981), b A water-driven mill (水礱) (Wang 1991) c Structural sketch

each row meshes with the vertical gear. When the water wheel rotates, the long
shaft and vertical gears rotate as well. Then through the meshing activities among
the grinding gears, all the grinding discs are driven to rotate.
In these two devices, the allocations of the vertical and grinding gears are all
identical, so that using only one set is sufficient for analysis. Each of them is a
mechanism with four members and five joints, including the frame (member 1,
KF), a vertical gear with a long shaft and a vertical water wheel (member 2, KG1), a
grinding gear in the middle (member 3, KG2), and a grinding gear located at the
end (member 4, KG3). The vertical gear is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint, denoted as JRx. The grinding gears are connected to the frame with revolute
joints, denoted as JRy. The meshing activities among the gears can be considered as
gear joints JG. Figure 8.4c shows the structural sketch.
175

8.2 Water Lifting Devices with Gears

There are four water lifting devices with gears including Lv Zhuan Tong Che (驢轉
筒車, a donkey-driven cylinder wheel), Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車, a cow-
driven paddle blade machine), Shui Zhuan Fan Che (水轉翻車, a water-driven
paddle blade machine), and Feng Zhuan Fan Che (風轉翻車, a wind-driven
paddle blade machine). Each of these devices is a Type I mechanism with a clear
structure and is described below:

8.2.1 Lv Zhuan Tong Che (驢轉筒車, A Donkey-Driven


Cylinder Wheel)

Lv Zhuan Tong Che (驢轉筒車, a donkey-driven cylinder wheel) in the book Nong
Shu《農書》, as shown in Fig. 8.5a (Wang 1991), has the same function of
scooping water as Tong Che (筒車, a cylinder wheel) that was described in
Sect. 6.4. Since Tong Che is required to install near the turbulent current, if there is
no such an area, Lv Zhuan Tong Che can be another option. Besides the frame and
the water wheel with a horizontal shaft, the device adds a set of the vertical and
horizontal gears. During operation, the horizontal gear rotated by animals, drives
the vertical gear and water wheel to rotate to scoop water. The vertical gear is
connected to the water wheel with a horizontal shaft as an assembly. It is a
mechanism with three members and three joints, including the frame (member 1,
KF), a horizontal gear with a vertical shaft (member 2, KG1), and a vertical gear
with a water wheel and a horizontal shaft (member 3, KG2). The horizontal gear is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint, denoted as JRy. The vertical gear is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint, denoted as JRx. The meshing activity
between the gears can be considered as a gear joint JG. Figure 8.5b shows the
structural sketch.

Fig. 8.5 A donkey-driven cylinder wheel (驢轉筒車), a Original illustration (Wang 1991)
b Structural sketch
176 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

8.2.2 Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車, A Cow-Driven Paddle


Blade Machine)

Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車, a cow-driven paddle blade machine) consists of two
parts including a gear train and a chain transmission mechanism as shown in
Fig. 8.6a (Pan 1998). It has the same function as Fan Che (翻車, a paddle blade
machine). Animals rotate the large horizontal gear, and the motion is transmitted
from the gear train to the upper sprocket on the long shaft, the chain, and the lower
sprocket. One half of the lower sprocket is located under the water, the scratch board
on the sprocket carries water up to the path board, and the blades on the chain push
the water up to the shore through the water-receiving slot installed on the chain.

Fig. 8.6 A cow-driven paddle blade machine (牛轉翻車), a Original illustration (Pan 1998)
b Structural sketch c Imitation of original illustration
177

It is a mechanism with five members and six joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), a large horizontal gear with a vertical shaft (member 2, KG1), a
small vertical gear with a long shaft and the upper sprocket (member 3, KG2), a
chain (member 4, KC), and the lower sprocket (member 5, KK). The horizontal gear
is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRy. The vertical gear is connected
to the frame and the horizontal gear with a revolute joint JRx and a gear joint JG,
respectively. The chain is connected to the upper and lower sprockets with
wrapping joints JW. The lower sprocket is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint JRx. Figures 8.6b and c show the structural sketch and an imitation of the
original illustration of Niu Zhuan Fan Che in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工
開物》, respectively. Besides, the long shaft in the original illustration must have
two stands to support itself.

8.2.3 Shui Zhuan Fan Che (水轉翻車, A Water-Driven


Paddle Blade Machine)

Shui Zhuan Fan Che (水轉翻車, a water-driven paddle blade machine) has the
same function as Fan Che (翻車, a paddle blade machine) and has a similar
structure as Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車, a cow-driven paddle blade machine)
as shown in Fig. 8.7a (Sun and Sun 1966). Niu Zhuan Fan Che has a horizontal rod
on the vertical shaft to control the cattle’s movement, while Shui Zhuan Fan Che
replaces the horizontal rod with a horizontal water wheel that must be put under
water by digging a narrow graven. Since there is no relative motion among the
water wheel, vertical shaft and large horizontal gear, all of them can be considered
as the same link (member 2, KG1). The other members are identical to the ones in
Niu Zhuan Fan Che. Figure 8.7b shows the structural sketch. Figure 8.7c shows an
imitation of the original illustration of Shui Zhuan Fan Che in the book Tian Gong
Kai Wu《天工開物》.

8.2.4 Feng Zhuan Fan Che (風轉翻車, A Wind-Driven


Paddle Blade Machine)

Feng Zhuan Fan Che (風轉翻車, a wind-driven paddle blade machine) has the
same function as Fan Che (翻車, a paddle blade machine) and has a similar
structure as Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車, a cow-driven paddle blade machine).
Ancient Chinese literature has no illustrations on the Feng Zhuan Fan Che.
However, there is a description of this device in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天
工開物》(Pan 1998) “In Yang Prefecture, a wind sail was used to power the
device. When the wind stopped, the device ceased to operate.”『揚郡以風帆數扇,
俟風轉車,風息則止。』By the positions of the main shaft, there are vertical-shaft
and horizontal-shaft types.
178 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

Fig. 8.7 A water-driven paddle blade machine (水轉翻車), a Original illustration (Sun and Sun
1966) b Structural sketch c Imitation of original illustration

The vertical-shaft Feng Zhuan Fan Che has been seen in the records since
the South Song Dynasty (AD 1127–1219) (Zhang 1995) and widely used in the
Jian-Nan area (江南地區) in the Ming and Qing dynasties (AD 1368–1911). Until
the 1950s, the vertical-shaft Feng Zhuan Fan Che was still used in many areas for
irrigating farmland or lifting sea water to produce salt. The smartest design in this
device is that during operation its wind sail can adjust its orientation automatically.
When downwind, the sail automatically turns perpendicular to the direction of the
8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms 179

wind to gain maximum energy; while upwind, the sail turns parallel to the
direction of wind to receive the minimum resistance. This principle makes
the device unaffected by the variation of the wind, nor does the device change the
rotating direction. However, due to its large size, after the 1980s, the device has
been replaced by electric water pumps or by internal combustion engines.
In recent years, experts and scholars redesigned and reconstructed a real object
of the vertical-shaft Feng Zhuan Fan Che in the original size as shown in Fig. 8.8a
(Lin et al. 2009; Sun et al. 2009; Lin and Lin 2012). Since the swing of the sail
does not affect the output of the mechanism, the wind sails, the vertical shaft, and
the large horizontal gear can be considered as an assembly (member 2, KG1). The
other members and joints are identical to the ones in Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻
車, a cow-driven paddle blade machine). Figures 8.8b and c show the simulation
illustration and the structural sketch, respectively.
A horizontal-shaft Feng Zhuan Fan Che has three–six wind sails. Since the
transmitting shaft of the wind sail lies obliquely, it is also known as an oblique-rod
Feng Zhuan Fan Che as shown in Fig. 8.9a (Zhang 1995). Joseph Needham (AD
1900–1995) thought this device may come from the West and may have been
imported into China about the Song and Yuan dynasties (AD 960–1368) (Needham
1954). According the changes in the wind direction, the operators can move the
oblique-rod with the wind sails and their bases to make the sails face the wind
direction. However, the device cannot adjust to the change of the wind direction
automatically. The horizontal-shaft Feng Zhuan Fan Che contains less parts, is
easier to use, and needs a smaller installation area than the vertical-shaft Feng
Zhuan Fan Che. After the 1980s, the device is also gradually replaced by electric
water pumps or by internal combustion engines.
The horizontal-shaft Feng Zhuan Fan Che is a mechanism with six members and
eight joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a driving gear with wind sails and
a oblique rod (member 2, KG1), a vertical rod with double gears (member 3, KG2), a
small vertical gear with a long shaft and the upper sprocket (member 4, KG3), a
chain (member 5, KC), and the lower sprocket (member 6, KK). The driving gear is
connected to the frame and the vertical rod with a revolute joint JRx’ and a gear joint
JG, respectively. The vertical rod is connected to the frame and the small vertical
gear with a revolute joint JRy and a gear joint JG, respectively. The small vertical
gear is connected to the frame and the chain with a revolute joint JRx and a wrapping
joint JW, respectively. The lower sprocket is connected to the frame and the chain
with a revolute joint JRx and a wrapping joint JW, respectively. Figures 8.9b and c
show the simulation illustration and the structural sketch, respectively.

8.3 Cam Mechanisms

There are two devices with cams, including Shui Dui (水碓, a water-driven pestle)
and Li Lun Shi Shui Pai (立輪式水排, a vertical-wheel water-driven wind box).
Each of them is described below:
180 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

(a)

(b)

(c)
KF (1)
JG JW
JRz
JRy KG1 (2) KG2 (3)

KC (4)

KK (5)

JRz
JW

Fig. 8.8 A vertical-shaft wind-driven paddle blade machine, a Real object (Lin et al. 2009),
b Simulation illustration (Lin et al. 2009) c Structural sketch
8.3 Cam Mechanisms 181

(a)
KG1 (2)

KG2 (3)

KG3 (4)

KC (5) KK (6)

y
x KF (1)

(b)

(c) JRx’ KG1 (2)

KF (1) KG2 (3)


JG
JW
JG JRx
KG3 (4)
JRy

JRy
KC (5)

KK (6)

JRx
JW

Fig. 8.9 A horizontal-shaft wind-driven paddle blade machine a Real object (Zhang 1995),
b Simulation illustration, c Structural sketch
182 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

8.3.1 Shui Dui (水碓, A Water-Driven Pestle)

Shui Dui (水碓, a water-driven pestle), also known as Ji Dui (機碓) or Lian Ji Shui
Dui (連機水碓), is a typical and simple cam mechanism in ancient China as shown
in Fig. 8.10a (Pan 1998). Its components include the frame, several Dui Shao (碓
梢, tilted hammers, a part of a pestle device), a vertical water wheel, a long shaft,
and several paddles. The long shaft passes over the vertical water wheel hori-
zontally and is attached to several paddles. There is no relative motion between
them, so they can be considered as the same member. The tilted hammers need to
be installed in the right position to match the locations of the paddles embedded on
the shaft. When the water wheel is driven by water, the long shaft and paddles
rotate as well, and each paddle hits its corresponding tilted hammer, causing the
hammer heads to pestle grains.
The function of the paddle and the tilted hammer is the same as a cam
mechanism, so the water-driven pestle can be considered as a cam mechanism.
Since the allocation of the paddles and the tilted hammers are all identical, using
only one set is sufficient for analysis. It is a mechanism with three members and
three joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a long shaft with the vertical
water wheel and several paddles (member 2, KA), and several tilted hammers
(member 3, KAf). The long shaft is connected to the frame and the hammer with a
revolute joint JRx and a cam joint JA, respectively. The tilt hammer is connected to
the frame with a revolute joint JRx. It is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure.
Figure 8.10b shows the structural sketch. Figures 8.10c and d show an imitation of
the original illustration in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》and a pro-
totype, respectively. Figure 8.10e shows a real object.

8.3.2 Li Lun Shi Shui Pai (立輪式水排, A Vertical-Wheel


Water-Driven Wind Box)

The book Nong Shu《農書》(Wang 1991) introduces Wuo Lun Shi Shui Pai (臥輪
式水排, a horizontal-wheel water-driven wind box) and Li Lun Shi Shui Pai (立輪
式水排, a vertical-wheel water-driven wind box), respectively. The discussions of
the former can be seen in Sect. 7.4 regarding Shui Pai (水排, a horizontal-wheel
water-driven wind box). The latter has only written descriptions below “Before the
wind box, there is a Mu Sun (木簨, a wooden rod) with Yan Mu (偃木, a wooden
rod). It is about three Chi (ancient Chinese length of a foot) long. The head of Mu
Sun, namely Yan Mu, is in the shape of a new moon that is held by Qiu Qian Suo
(秋千索, a swing rope). Another component called Jing Zhu (勁竹, a bamboo) is
set before the wind box. The top of Jing Zhu is attached to a rope called Nian Suo
(攆索, a rope), that is attached to Pai Shan (排扇, a wooden fan). Then the water
power is transferred through the wooden paddles on the horizontal shaft, driving
Yan Mu located before Pai Shan. Then Pai Shan is driven by Yan Mu to move
8.3 Cam Mechanisms 183

Fig. 8.10 A water-driven pestle, (水碓), a Original illustration (Pan 1998) b Structural sketch
c Imitation of original illustration d Prototype e Real object (photoed by Guan X. W. in She
County, Anhui Province)
184 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

toward to the wind box. After the wooden paddle drives, Jing Zhu pulls Yan Mu
back to its original position through Nian Suo. As a result, the shaft with paddles
hits Yan Mu in turn… its action is similar to Shui Dui (水碓, a water-driven
pestle).” 『先於排前,直出木簨,約長三尺,簨頭豎置偃木,形如初月,上用千秋索
懸之。復於排前置一勁竹,上帶攆索,以挖排扇。然後卻假水輪臥軸所列拐木,
自上打動排前偃木,排即隨入。其拐木既落,攆竹引排復回。如此間打一軸…
宛若水碓之制…』. Since the related description is too brief, it is difficult to
confirm the number of members and the transmission process and can be con-
sidered as a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members
and joints. Figure 8.11a shows an existing reconstruction concept in the book
Chinese Mechanical History《中國機械史》(Lu 2003). The result can help
clarify the structure of the vertical-wheel water-driven wind box.
The vertical-wheel water-driven wind box includes the frame, a vertical water
wheel, a horizontal shaft with wooden paddles, a wooden rod with head shape as a
new moon, a wooden fan, a bamboo, a swing rope, and a rope. The horizontal shaft

Fig. 8.11 An existing reconstruction concept of vertical-wheel water-driven wind box, a Original
illustration (Lu 2003) b Simulation illustration c Structural sketch
8.3 Cam Mechanisms 185

passes over the vertical water wheel and is embedded with wooden paddles. There
is no relative motion between them, so they can be considered as the same
member. The wooden rod with head shape as a new moon (a follower) is required
to be placed near the wooden paddles (a cam). When the water wheel spins, the
horizontal shaft with the wooden paddles rotates to push the follower and the
wooden fan. Among the members, the swing rope is used to stabilize the trans-
mission of the follower and the wooden paddles. Moreover, the elasticity produced
by the bamboo and the rope causes the follower and the wooden fan to return to
their original positions. As a result, the wooden fan would produce the oscillating
motion to achieve the function of wind blasting.
The function of the wooden paddles and the follower is a cam device. Thus, in
the book Chinese Mechanical History (Lu 2003), the reconstruction of the vertical-
wheel water-driven wind box can be considered as a cam mechanism with seven
members and nine joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a horizontal shaft
with wooden paddles and a vertical water wheel (member 2, KA), a wooden rod
with head shape as a new moon (member 3, KAf), a wooden fan (member 4, KL), a
bamboo (member 5, KBB), a swing rope (member 6, KT1), and a rope (member 7,
KT2). The horizontal shaft is connected to the frame and the wooden rod with a
revolute joint JRz and a cam joint JA, respectively. The wooden rod is connected to
the wooden fan and the swing rope with a revolute joint JRz and a thread joint JT,
respectively. The rope is connected to the bamboo and the wooden fan with thread
joints JT. The bamboo, the wooden fan, and the swing rope are connected to the
frame with a bamboo joint JBB, a revolute joint JRz, and a thread joint JT,
respectively. Figures 8.11b and c show the simulation illustration and structural
sketch of the vertical-wheel water-driven wind box in the book Chinese
Mechanical History, respectively.
The function of the swing rope is to stabilize the motion of the wooden rod and
the wooden paddles. In addition, the function of the rope is to connect the bamboo
and the wooden fan. Here, a simplified design for removing the two ropes is
proposed. It is a mechanism with five members and six joints. The horizontal shaft
is connected to the frame and the wooden rod with a revolute joint JRz and a cam
joint JA, respectively. The bamboo is connected to the frame and the wooden rod
with bamboo joints JBB directly. The wooden fan is connected to the frame and the
wooden rod with revolute joints JRz. Figures 8.12a and b show the simulation
illustration and structural sketch, respectively. In the simplified design, by
adjusting the position and the elasticity of the bamboo, the wooden paddles can
push the wooden rod solidly, and thereby the wooden fan can produce a more
stable oscillating motion for the wind blasting function.
186 8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms

Fig. 8.12 A simplified reconstruction concept of vertical-wheel water-driven wind box, a (5, 6)
simulation illustration b (5, 6) structural sketch

8.4 Summary

Based on the view of modern mechanism, this chapter analyzes the devices with
gear and cam members in the ancient books described in Chap. 2, as listed in
Table 8.1. There are six agricultural devices with gears, four water lifting devices
with gears, and two cam mechanisms. Among them, there are 10 mechanisms (Zha
Zhe Ji, Lian Mo, Shui Mo, Lian Er Shui Mo, Shui Zhuan Lian Mo, Shui Long, Lv
Zhuan Tong Che, Niu Zhuan Fan Che, Shui Zhuan Fan Che, Shui Du) with certain
structures (Type I), and two devices with only text descriptions without illustra-
tions, such as the wind-driven paddle blade machine and vertical-wheel water-
driven wind box. However, the wind-driven paddle blade machine has survived the
real objects and has two different types sorted by the position of the main shaft.
According to the real objects, the wind-driven paddle blade machine still can be
considered as Type I. Since the vertical-wheel water-driven wind box contains
only text without illustration and real object, it may have various feasible designs
and can be considered as a mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of
members and joints (Type III). There are a total of 11 original illustrations, 12
structural sketches, five simulation illustrations, five imitation illustrations, one
prototype, and four real objects described in this chapter. Furthermore, their power
sources include human, animals, wind, and water.
Table 8.1 Gear and cam mechanisms (12 items)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
8.4 Summary

Zha Zhe Ji (榨蔗機) Fig. 8.1 Gan Shi


Type I 《甘嗜》
Lian Mo (連磨) Fig. 8.2 Chu Jiu
Type I 《杵臼》
Shui Mo (水磨) Fig. 8.3 Sui Jing
Type I 《碎精》
Lian Er Shui Mo (連二水磨) Fig. 8.3 Shui Li Gong Zhi
Type I 《水利》 《攻治》
Shui Zhuan Lian Mo (水轉連磨) Li Yong Shui Li Gong Zhi
Fig. 8.4 《利用》 《水利》 《攻治》
Type I
Shui LongLong (水礱) Fig. 8.4 Li Yong Shui Li
Type I 《利用》 《水利》
Lv Zhuan Tong Che (驢轉筒車) Guai Gai Shui Li Guai Gai
Fig. 8.5 Type I 《灌溉》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車) Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
Fig. 8.6 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Type I
Shui Zhuan Fan Che (水轉翻車) Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
Shui Che (水車) Fig. 8.7 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Type I
(continued)
187
Table 8.1 (continued)
188

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Feng Zhuan Fan Che (風轉翻車) Nai Li
(only text without illustration) 《乃粒》
Figs. 8.8 and 8.9
Type I
Shui Dui (水碓) Li Yong Sui Jing Shui Li Gong Zhi
Ji Dui (機碓) 《利用》 《碎精》 《水利》 《攻治》
Lian Ji Dui (連機碓)
Fig. 8.10
Type I
Li Lun Shi Shui Pai (立輪式水排) Li Yong
(only text without illustration) 《利用》
Figs. 8.11 and 8.12 Type III
8 Gear and Cam Mechanisms
References 189

References

Lin TY, Lin WF (2012) Structure and motion analyses of the sails of Chinese great windmill.
Mech Mach Theory 48(2):29–40
Lin TY, Lu DM, Zhang BC, Sun L, Zhang ZZ (2009) On the mechanism analysis of the vertical
shaft type wind-power Chinese square-pallet chain-pump. In: International symposium on
history of machines and mechanisms, pp 309–324. Springer, Netherlands, 2009
Lu JY (2003) History of Chinese machinery (in Chinese), Ancient Chinese Machinery Cultural
Foundation (Tainan, Taiwan). Yuen Yin Publishing House, Taipei. 陸敬嚴,中國機械史,中華
古機械文教基金會(台南,台灣),越吟出版社,台北,2003年。
Needham J (1954) Science and civilisation in China, Vol. 5, Part 7. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing
House, Shanghai.《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出版社,上
海,1998年。
Shi SH (1981) Annotation of Nong Zheng Quan Shu (in Chinese), Ming Wen Bookstore, Taipei.
《農政全書校注》;徐光啟[明朝]撰,石聲漢校注,明文書局,台北,1981年。
Sun EZ, Sun SC (1966) Chinese technology in the seventeenth century. Dover Publications, New
York
Sun L, Zhang BC, Lin TY, Zhang ZZ (2009) An investigation and reconstruction of traditional
vertical-axle-styled Chinese great windmill and its square-pallet chain-pump. In: International
symposium on history of machines and mechanisms, pp. 295–308. Springer, Netherlands,
2009
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty), Nong Shu (1991) (in Chinese) Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing.
《農書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Zhang BC (1995) New exploration of principles of chinese wind-driven paddle blade machine (in
Chinese). Stud Hist Nat Sci 14(3):287–296. 張柏春,中國風力翻車構造原理新探,自然科學
史研究,第14卷,第3期,287–296,1995年.
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of inventions in Chinese Mechanical
Engineering, 2nd edn. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing (in Chinese) 張春輝、游戰洪、吳
宗澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年.
Chapter 9
Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

Abstract Ancient Chinese mechanical devices with flexible members (rope,


thread, belt, and chain) can be divided by function into four types: grain processing
devices, water lifting devices, handiwork devices, and textile devices. This chapter
presents the uses and components of the devices, analyzes the numbers of member
and possible types of joints, and provides their structural sketches.

9.1 Grain Processing Devices

There are two grain processing devices with flexible members, including Shai Gu
(篩殼, a grain sieving device) and Lv Long (驢礱, a donkey-driven mill). Each of
these devices is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure and is described below:

9.1.1 Shai Gu ( 篩殼, A Grain Sieving Device)

In the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》, Shai Gu (篩殼) or Shai (篩), is a
grain sieving device as shown in Fig. 9.1a (Sun and Sun 1966). Grains are firstly
ground by Long (礱, mill) or Mo (磨, grinder) to separate the grains from the other
parts. Then they are placed into a winnowing device such as Feng Shan Che (風扇
車) or Yang Shan (颶扇) to remove the husks. After the above steps, farmers would
put the processed grains in Shai and move around Shai via a circular motion to let
the finer parts of the grains pass through the mesh. As a result, the larger and
unbroken parts of the grains will stay on the surface of Shai. At the time, farmers
can then put the unsifted grains back to Long or Mo to repeat the whole process

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 191
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_9,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
192 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

Fig. 9.1 A grain sieving device (篩殼) a Original illustration (Sun and Sun 1966), b Structural
sketch

again. After all the grains pass through Shai, they can then be poured into a stone
mortar and are ready to be pestled.
When operating the device, three ropes are tied to the three points on Shai,
making the operation more stable. Since the ropes are symmetrical in structure,
using only one rope is sufficient for analysis. Thus, it can be considered as a
mechanism with three members and two joints, including the frame (member 1, KF),
a rope (member 2, KT), and a sieve (member 3, KL). The rope is connected to the
frame and the sieve with thread joints JT. Figure 9.1b shows the structural sketch.

9.1.2 Lv Long (驢礱, A Donkey-Driven Mill)

Lv Long (驢礱, a donkey-driven mill) uses animals to rotate a wooden wheel,


through a rope or a belt, to drive the mill disc installed on the base. The device is a
typical application of rope transmission in ancient China as shown in Fig. 9.2a
(Wang 1991). Since the wooden wheel rotated by animals has a larger diameter
than the mill disc, the device would be a rope transmitting mechanism that can
increase the mill velocity and enhance the device’s efficiency. Furthermore, since a
rope or a belt is wrapped across the wooden wheel and the mill disc, it can increase
the contact areas and friction forces, making the grinding work more stable.
9.1 Grain Processing Devices 193

Fig. 9.2 A donkey-driven mill (驢礱) a Original illustration (Wang 1991), b Structural sketch

It is a mechanism with four members and four joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), a wooden wheel (member 2, KU1), a mill disc (member 3, KU2),
and a rope (member 4, KT). The wooden wheel is connected to the frame with a
revolute joint JRy. The rope is connected to the wooden wheel and the mill disc
with wrapping joints JW. The mill disc is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint JRy. Figure 9.2b shows the structural sketch.

9.2 Water Lifting Devices

There are five water lifting devices, including Lu Lu (轆轤, a pulley block), Shou
Dong Fan Che (手動翻車, a hand-operated paddle blade machine), Jiao Ta Fan
Che (腳踏翻車, a foot-operated paddle blade machine), Gao Zhuan Tong Che (高
轉筒車, a chain conveyor cylinder wheel), and Shui Zhuan Gao Che (水轉高車, a
water-driven chain conveyor water lifting device). Each of these devices is a Type
I mechanism with a clear structure and is described below:

9.2.1 Lu Lu (轆轤, A Pulley Block)

Lu Lu (轆轤, a pulley block) is used for lifting well water as shown in Fig. 9.3a
(Sun and Sun 1966). A turning shaft with a handle (a crank) is installed above the
well. The rope that is coiled around the turning shaft hangs a water bucket at the
lower end. When in motion, the operator rotates the handle to roll the rope up and
down. Then, the water bucket rises and drops for water lifting.
It is a mechanism with four members and three joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), a turning shaft with a handle (member 2, KU), a rope (member 3,
KT), and a water bucket (member 4, KB). The turning shaft is connected to the frame
with a revolute joint JRx. The rope is connected to the turning shaft and water bucket
194 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

Fig. 9.3 A pulley block (轆轤) a Original illustration (Sun and Sun 1966), b Structural sketch,
c Imitation of original illustration, d Real object (photoed by Guan, X.W. in Lingqiu County,
Shanxi Province

with a wrapping joint JW and a thread joint JT, respectively. Figure 9.3b shows the
structural sketch. Figures 9.3c–d show an imitation of the original illustration in the
book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》and a real object, respectively.

9.2.2 Shou Dong Fan Che (手動翻車, A Hand-Operated


Paddle Blade Machine)

Shou Dong Fan Che (手動翻車, a hand-operated paddle blade machine), also
known as Ba Che (拔車), is used to lift water for irrigation as shown in Fig. 9.4a
9.2 Water Lifting Devices 195

(Pan 1998). The operating method is to pull the operating rod to rotate the upper
sprocket with the crank. Through the transmission of the chain, the lower sprocket
is rotated. The lower sprocket is installed under water, the scratch board on the
lower sprocket carries water up to the path board, and the blades on the chain push
the water up through the path board to the shore.
It is a mechanism with five members and five joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), an operating rod (member 2, KL), an upper sprocket with the
crank (member 3, KK1), a lower sprocket (member 4, KK2), and a chain (member 5,
KC). The upper sprocket is connected to the frame and the operating rod with
revolute joints JRz. The chain is connected to the upper and lower sprockets with
wrapping joints JW. The lower sprocket is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint JRz. Figure 9.4b shows the structural sketch. Figure 9.4c shows an imitation of
the original illustration in the book of Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》.

9.2.3 Jiao Ta Fan Che (腳踏翻車, A Foot-Operated Paddle


Blade Machine)

Jiao Ta Fan Che (腳踏翻車, a foot-operated paddle blade machine) also known as
Ta Che (踏車), adds a long shaft with pedals on the sprocket of Fan Che (翻車),
for people to pedal as shown in Fig. 9.5a (Pan 1998). It is a mechanism with four
members and four joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), an upper sprocket
with a long shaft and pedals (member 2, KK1), a lower sprocket (member 3, KK2),
and a chain (member 4, KC). The upper sprocket is connected to the frame with a
revolute joint JRx. The chain is connected to the upper and lower sprockets with
wrapping joints JW. The lower sprocket is connected to the frame with a revolute
joint JRx. Figure 9.5b shows the structural sketch. Figures 9.5c and d show an
imitation of the original illustration in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》
and a prototype, respectively.

9.2.4 Gao Zhuan Tong Che (高轉筒車, A Chain Conveyor


Cylinder Wheel)

Gao Zhuan Tong Che (高轉筒車, a chain conveyor cylinder wheel) was invented
in the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271–1368). The device is used to draw water from
water sources in a lower position to a higher level (Zhang et al. 2004). Its power
comes from human or animals. The structure of the device is similar to Fan Che
(翻車, a paddle blade machine), and its water lifting component is identical to
Tong Che (筒車, a cylinder wheel). Its structure contains a wooden board, two
wheels in the higher and lower positions, a chain connected by ropes and bamboo
cylinders, and the members designed for the power source (not shown in the
196 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

Fig. 9.4 A hand-operated paddle blade machine (手動翻車) a Original illustration (Pan 1998),
b Structural sketch, c Imitation of original illustration
9.2 Water Lifting Devices 197

Fig. 9.5 A foot-operated paddle blade machine (腳踏翻車) a Original illustration (Pan 1998),
b Structural sketch, c Imitation of original illustration, d prototype
198 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

illustration), as shown in Fig. 9.6a (Wang 1991). If the device is powered by


human, the upper turning shaft needs to add more pedals to pedal (the same as Fan
Che); if powered by animals, the device needs to add an extra pair of vertical and
horizontal gears, and it would then have a similar structure as Niu Zhuan Fan Che
(牛轉翻車, a cow-driven paddle blade machine).
Human-driven Gao Zhuan Tong Che is a mechanism with four members and
four joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), an upper wheel (member 2, KK1),
a lower wheel (member 3, KK2), and a chain (member 4, KC). The upper wheel is

Fig. 9.6 A chain conveyor cylinder wheel (高轉筒車) a Original illustration (Wang 1991),
b Structural sketch of human-driven, c Structural sketch of animal-driven
9.2 Water Lifting Devices 199

connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. The chain is connected to the
upper and lower wheels with wrapping joints JW. The lower wheel is connected to
the frame with a revolute joint JRx. Figure 9.6b shows the structural sketch.
Animal-driven Gao Zhuan Tong Che is a mechanism with five members and six
joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a horizontal gear with a vertical shaft
(member 2, KG), an upper wheel with a vertical gear (member 3, KK1), a lower
wheel (member 4, KK2), and a chain (member 5, KC). The horizontal gear is
connected to the frame and the upper wheel with a revolute joint JRy and a gear
joint JG, respectively. The other adjacent relationships are identical to the ones in
human-driven device. Figure 9.6c shows the structural sketch.

9.2.5 Shui Zhuan Gao Che (水轉高車, A Water-Driven


Chain Conveyor Water Lifting Device)

Shui Zhuan Gao Che (水轉高車, a water-driven chain conveyor water lifting
device) is a Tong Che (筒車, a cylinder wheel) but driven by water as shown in
Fig. 9.7a (Wang 1991) (the horizontal water wheel and the gear train are not
shown in the illustration). Its structure is similar to the animal-driven Gao Zhuan
Tong Che but with an additional horizontal water wheel. Figure 9.7b shows the
structural sketch.

Fig. 9.7 A water-driven chain conveyor water lifting device (水轉高車) a Original illustration
(Wang 1991), b Structural sketch
200 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

9.3 Handiwork Devices

There are four handiwork devices with flexible members, including Ru Shui and
Ru Jing (入水, 入井, human pulleying devices), Zao Jing (鑿井, a cow-driven
well-drilling rope drive), Mo Chuang (磨床, a rope drive grinding device), and Zha
You Ji (榨油機, an oil pressing device). Each of these devices is described below:

9.3.1 Ru Shui, Ru Jing (入水, 入井, Human Pulleying


Devices)

In the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》, Ru Shui and Ru Jing devices
(human pulleying devices for water and well) are used to collect pearls, gems,
coal, or precious minerals under water or from a well as shown in Figs. 9.8a and b
(Pan 1998). Since it is dangerous for a worker to enter the water or a well, the
worker needs to tie a long rope to his waist. When the worker completes his job or
some dangers happen, other people can pull on the rope and bring him out of the
water or well. A turning shaft with a handle (a crank) is installed on the boat or
well, and then one end of a rope is coiled around the turning shaft and the other
end is tied to the worker. During operation, one person rotates the handle, and
other people hold the turning shaft. By rolling the rope up and down to raise and
lower the worker, the tasks of mineral mining or gem collecting can be achieved.
Ru Shui and Ru Jing devices have the same structure. It is a mechanism with
four members and three joints, including a stand as the frame (member 1, KF), a
turning shaft with a handle (member 2, KU), a rope (member 3, KT), and a worker
(member 4, KB). The turing shaft is connected to the frame by a revolute joint JRx.
The rope is connected to the turning shaft and the worker with a wrapping joint JW
and a thread joint JT, respectively. It is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure.
Figure 9.8c shows the structural sketch.

9.3.2 Zao Jing (鑿井, A Cow-Driven Well-Drilling Rope


Drive)

The book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》documented the process of brine col-
lecting for well salt in the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368–1644) as shown in Fig. 9.9a
(Sun and Sun 1966). It uses a cow-driven well-drilling rope drive to complete the
process. The rope is connected to the well digging tool on one end, and it is coiled
around a large pulley on the other end, by passing through a small pulley on the
top of the well stand and a guide pulley on the ground. Cows tune the large pulley
to pull the rope to raise and drop the tool to dig the well.
9.3 Handiwork Devices 201

Fig. 9.8 Human pulleying devices (入水, 入井) a Original illustration (Ru Shui) (Pan 1998),
b Original illustration (Ru Jing) (Pan 1998), c Structural sketch
202 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

(a)

(b)

KU2 (3) KU1 (2)


KT (4)

JW JRY JW
JRZ

KF (1) KF (1)

Fig. 9.9 A cow-driven well-drilling rope drive (鑿井) a Original illustration (Sun and Sun 1966),
b Structural sketch

Since the guide pulley is only used to adjust the direction of the rope and does
not affect the transmission of the whole mechanism, it is not considered for
structural analysis. Thus, the device is a mechanism with four members and four
joints, including the frame (member 1, KF), a large pulley (member 2, KU1), a
small pulley (member 3, KU2), and a rope (member 4, KT). The large pulley is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRy. The rope is connected to the large
and small pulleys with wrapping joints JW. The small pulley is connected to the
frame with a revolute joint JRz. It is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure.
Figure 9.9b shows the structural sketch.

9.3.3 Mo Chuang (磨床, A Rope Drive Grinding Device)

In the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》, Mo Chuang (磨床, a rope drive
grinding device) transmits power and motions by ropes or belts for jade processing
as shown in Fig. 9.10a (Pan 1998). A grinding wheel is installed in the middle of
the device’s horizontal shaft, both sides of which are installed in bearings. On both
sides of the grinding wheel, a rope is nailed to the shaft with its upper part. Each
rope is coiled around the shaft several times in the opposite direction. The lower
parts of the two ropes are installed on two treadles. When the operator pedals the
treadles, the grinding wheel would rotate in an oscillating way, thereby grinding
jade stones.
Since Mo Chuang is symmetrical, one side of the device is sufficient for
analysis. It is a mechanism with four members and four joints, including the frame
(member 1, KF), a treadle (member 2, KTr), a rope (member 3, KT), and a turning
9.3 Handiwork Devices 203

Fig. 9.10 A rope drive grinding device (磨床) a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural
sketch

shaft with a grinding wheel (member 4, KU). The treadle is connected to the frame
with a revolute joint JRx. The rope is connected to the treadle and the turning shaft
with a thread joint JT and a wrapping joint JW, respectively. The turning shaft is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. It is a Type I mechanism with a
clear structure. Figure 9.10b shows the structural sketch.

9.3.4 Zha You Ji (榨油機, An Oil Pressing Device)

Zha You Ji (榨油機, an oil pressing device) in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工
開物》consists of two parts including the hollow timber and the ramming device
as shown in Fig. 9.11a (Pan 1998). The timber used for making an oil press must
be an armful in diameter and hollowed in the center. The best raw material for the
hollowed out timber is camphor wood. The hollow is formed by scooping out the
wood with a curved chisel, so that the hollowed space becomes a flat trench with
rounded ends. At the bottom of the trench a small hole is drilled and connected to a
trough. After the processes of slow frying by gentle heat, grinding, steaming,
boiling, and other preparatory steps, the raw materials of oils, such as sesame and
rape seeds, are inserted into the timber until it is packed. While the processed
material are pressed and crushed by the ramming device, the oil is created and
flows out slowly like spring water.
The ramming device is a mechanism with four members and three joints,
including the frame (KF, member 1), a rope (KT, member 2), a grip (KL1, member
3) and a rammer (KL2, member 4) (Hsiao and Yan 2010). The rope is connected to
the frame with an uncertain joint Jα. The grip is connected to the rope and the
rammer with an uncertain joint Jβ and a revolute joint JRz, respectively. It is a Type
204 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

(a)

(b)

(c)

(c1) (c2) (c3) (c4)

(d)

(e)

Fig. 9.11 An oil pressing device (榨油機) a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural sketch,
c Atlas of feasible designs, d Imitation of original illustration (Hsiao and Yan 2010), e Real object
(collection in National Science and Technology Museum, Taiwan)
9.3 Handiwork Devices 205

II mechanism with uncertain types of joints. Figure 9.11b shows the structural
sketch. The function of the ramming device is to use the rammer pushed by a
human to press and crush the raw materials of oils. The uncertain joints have many
possible types to achieve the equivalent function.
Considering the types and the directions of motions of the rope, joint Jα has two
possible types. Firstly, the rope rotates about the x, y, and z axes with respect to the
frame, denoted as JRxyz. Secondly, the rope not only rotates about the x, y, and z
Px
axes but also translates along the x-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRxyz .
Joint Jβ also has two possible types. Firstly, the rope rotates about the x, y, and z
axes with respect to the grip, denoted as JRxyz. Secondly, the rope not only rotates
about the x, y, and z axes but also translates along the z-axis with respect to the
Pz Px
grip, denoted as JRxyz . By assigning uncertain joints Jα (JRxyz and JRxyz ) and Jβ (JRxyz
Pz
and JRxyz ) to the structural sketch, the atlas of feasible designs are obtained as
shown in Figs. 9.11c1–c4. Figures 9.11d and e show an imitation of the original
illustration in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》and a real object of the
hollow timber, respectively.

9.4 Textile Devices

Textile processing can be divided into four steps including fiber processing, yarn
spinning, coloring, and cloth weaving. Each step is outlined below (Chen 1984):
1. Fiber processing: the purpose of this step is to turn silk cocoons, cotton, hemp,
or other raw materials, through silk extracting, core removing, or twisting, to be
spinning-ready materials.
2. Yarn spinning: after fiber processing, the spinning-ready materials will be
transformed into yarns, or several single-strand yarn will be combined and plied
into a multiple-strand yarn. Then, the yarns can be turned into warps or wefts.
After this step, the processed materials are ready for weaving.
3. Coloring: the aim of this step is to dye the yarns and enhance their strength by
methods such as temperature control.
4. Cloth weaving: the structure of the cloth is to interweave the warps and wefts.
Other weaving methods such as Ti Hua (提花, pattern weaving) can produce
different patterns on the cloth.
Since the coloring step does not contain movable mechanisms, this work will
not discuss the devices about coloring. According to textile processing, Table 9.1
shows the textile devices described in this work and the corresponding sections.
There are eight textile devices with flexible connecting mechanisms including
Pan Che (蟠車, a linen spinning device), Xu Che (絮車, a cocoon boiling device),
Gan Mian Che (趕棉車, a cottonseed removing device), Tan Mian (彈棉, a cotton
loosening device), Shou Yao Fang Che (手搖紡車, a hand-operated spinning
device), Wei Che (緯車, a hand-operated spinning device), Jing Jia (經架, a silk
206 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

Table 9.1 Devices used in textile processes


Textile processes Devices Corresponding sections
Fiber processing Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車, a cottonseed 6.6
removing device)
Bo Che (紴車, a linen spinning device)
Pan Che (蟠車, a linen spinning device) 9.4
Xu Che (絮車, a cocoon boiling device)
Gan Mian Che (趕棉車, a cottonseed 9.4
removing device)
Tan Mian (彈棉, a cotton loosing device)
Sao Che (繅車, a foot-operated silk-reeling 11.1
mechanism)
Yarn spinning Shou Yao Fang Che (手搖紡車) 9.4
Wei Che (緯車)
A hand-operated spinning device
Jing Jia (經架, a silk drawing device) 9.4
Mu Mian Kuang Chuang (木棉軠床, a cotton
drawing device)
Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車), 11.2.1
Mu Mian Xian Jia (木棉線架)
Mu Mian Fang Che (木棉紡車)
Xiao Fang Che (小紡車)
A foot-operated spinning device
Da Fang Che (大紡車), 11.2.2
Shui Zhuan Da Fang Che (水轉大紡車)
A water-driven spinning device
Cloth weaving Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機) 11.3
Yao Ji (腰機)
Bu Ji (布機)
Wo Ji (臥機)
A foot-operated slanting loom
Ti Hua Ji (提花機) 11.4
Hua Ji (花機)
Zhi Ji (織機)
A drawloom for pattern-weaving

drawing device), and Mu Mian Kuang Chuang (木棉軠床, a cotton drawing


device). Each of these devices is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure and is
described below:

9.4.1 Pan Che (蟠車, A Linen Spinning Device)

Pan Che (蟠車, a linen spinning device), also known as Bo Che (撥車) is shown in
Fig. 9.12a (Wang 1991). It is a tool to transform hemp fibers into yarns and
belongs to the Chan Lu (纏纑) process in the fiber processing steps. The operator
holds Xian Lu (線纑, a hand bar) on one hand and the other hand pulls the yarn
around the hand bar, causing Xian Ren (線絍, a spinning wheel) to spin.
9.4 Textile Devices 207

Fig. 9.12 A linen spinning device (蟠車) a Original illustration (Wang 1991), b Structural
sketch

It is a mechanism with three members and two joints, including a wooden frame
as the frame (member 1, KF), a spinning wheel (member 2, KL), and the yarn
(member 3, KT). The spinning wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint
JRz. The yarn is connected to the spinning wheel with a wrapping joint JW. Fig-
ure 9.12b shows the structural sketch.

9.4.2 Xu Che (絮車, A Cocoon Boiling Device)

Xu Che (絮車, a cocoon boiling device) is used to boil cocoons in the preparatory
process before silk extracting as shown in Fig. 9.13a (Wang 1991). In the device, a
pulley is placed on the wooden stand and hooked by a rope. The other end of the

Fig. 9.13 A cocoon boiling device (絮車) a Original illustration (Wang 1991), b Structural
sketch
208 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

rope is tied to a cloth bag in which silk cocoons are located. An urn with hot water
is placed on the ground and the cloth bag is soaked in the urn. When the device is
working, the operator can pull the rope to control the soaking and heating degree
of the silk cocoons.
This is a mechanism with four members and three joints, including a wooden
stand as the frame (member 1, KF), a pulley (member 2, KU), a rope (member 3,
KT), and a cloth bag (member 4, KB). The pulley is connected to the frame with a
revolute joint JRz. The rope is connected to the pulley and the cloth bag with a
wrapping joint JW and a thread joint JT, respectively. Figure 9.13b shows the
structural sketch.

9.4.3 Gan Mian Che (趕棉車, A Cottonseed Removing Device)

Gan Mian Che (趕棉車, a cottonseed removing device) in the book Tian Gong Kai
Wu《天工開物》, as shown in Fig. 9.14a (Pan 1998), has the same function as Mu
Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車, a cottonseed removing device) described in Sect. 6.6. It
belongs to the step of fiber processing. Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車) requires two
persons to operate by hand, while Gan Mian Che (趕棉車) can be operated by only
one person’s hands and foot. The operator pedals the treadle to make the rope turn
one shaft, while the operator’s hand turns another shaft in the opposite direction.
The other hand can place the cotton into the device and gin out the cores and seeds.
This design can increase the productivity of the cottonseed removing process.
However, it is necessary to add an extra flywheel (not shown in the illustration) to
utilize inertia force, making the shaft turn continuously.
The device can be divided into two parts including the hand-operated turning
shaft mechanism and the foot-operated rope transmission mechanism. The hand-
operated turning shaft mechanism has two members and one joint, including the
frame (member 1, KF) and a turning shaft as the moving link (member 2, KL). The
turning shaft is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figure 9.14b
shows the structural sketch. The foot-operated rope transmission mechanism has
four members and four joints, including a wooden stand as the frame (member 1,
KF), a treadle (member 2, KTr), a rope (member 3, KT), and another turning shaft
(member 4, KL1). The treadle is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz.
The rope is connected to the treadle and the turning shaft with thread joints JT. The
turning shaft is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figures 9.14c–d
show the structural sketch and a real object, respectively.

9.4.4 Tan Mian (彈棉, A Cotton Loosening Device)

After Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車) or Gan Mian Che (趕棉車) gins out the
cotton cores and seeds, Tan Mian (彈棉, a cotton loosening device) can be used to
loosen the cotton. After this step, the processed cotton would be ready for use to
9.4 Textile Devices 209

Fig. 9.14 A cottonseed removing device (趕棉車) a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural
sketch of hand-operated turning shaft mechanism, c Structural sketch of foot-operated rope
transmission mechanism, d Real object (photoed in China Agricultural Museum in Beijing)

manufacture blankets or jackets. In the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》(Pan


1998), Tan Mian contains a wooden rod to which a leather string (or a thread) is
tied on both ends. Another rope is tied to the middle of the wooden rod, and the
other end of the rope is tied to a bamboo that is fixed on the wall as shown in
Fig. 9.15a. The operator plucks the leather string and swings the wooden rod to
enhance the effects of loosening cotton by the elasticity of the leather string and
bamboo.
210 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

Fig. 9.15 A cotton loosing device (彈棉) a Original illustration (Pan 1998), b Structural sketch

Although the leather string (or a thread) is tied to the wooden rod by both sides,
they are still in an adjacent relationship between the two members, so one set is
sufficient for analysis. Thus, the device is a mechanism with five members and five
joints, including the wall or ground as the frame (member 1, KF), a wooden rod
(member 2, KL), a leather string (member 3, KT1), a rope (member 4, KT2), and a
bamboo (member 5, KBB). The wooden rod is connected to the frame by direct
Pxz
contact, denoted as JRyz . The leather string is connected to the wooden rod with a
thread joint JT. The rope is connected to the wooden rod and the bamboo with
thread joints JT. The bamboo is connected to the frame with a bamboo joint JBB.
Figure 9.15b shows the structural sketch.

9.4.5 Shou Yao Fang Che, Wei Che (手搖紡車, 緯車,


Hand-Operated Spinning Devices)

After Tan Mian (彈棉, a cotton loosening device) looses cotton, and the cotton is
twisted into long strips on a wooden board; or after the silk worm cocoon is
processed for reeling, adjusting, or other procedures, the processed cotton or silk is
ready to be spun into yarn by devices such as Shou Yao Fang Che (手搖紡車, a
hand-operated spinning device) or Wei Che (緯車, a hand-operated spinning
device) as shown in Figs. 9.16a and b (Wang 1991; Pan 1998). Several single-
strand yarns can be combined into a multiple-strand yarn by a spinning device.
When spinning, the operator turns the large pulley with a handle, through the
transmission of the rope, rotating the spindle and thereby drawing the cotton or
yarns coiling around the spindle.
9.4 Textile Devices 211

Fig. 9.16 Hand-operated spinning devices (手搖紡車, 緯車) a Original illustration (Shou Yao
Fang Che) (Pan 1998), b Original illustration (Wei Che) (Wang 1991), c Structural sketch, d Real
object of Shou Yao Fang Che, e Real object of Wei Che (photoed in China Agricultural Museum
in Beijing)

Shou Yao Fang Che and Wei Che are both a mechanism with four members and
four joints, including a wooden stand as the frame (member 1, KF), a large pulley
(member 2, KU), a spindle (member 3, KS), and a rope (member 4, KT). The large
pulley is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. The rope is connected to
the large pulley and the spindle with wrapping joints JW. The spindle is connected
212 9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms

to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. Figure 9.16c shows the structural sketch.
Figures 9.16d and e show the real objects of Shou Yao Fang Che and Wei Che,
respectively.

9.4.6 Jing Jia (經架, A Silk Drawing Device)

Jing Jia (經架, a silk drawing device) is used to draw and coil silk in the process of
silk yarn spinning as shown in Fig. 9.17a (Wang 1991). Before using Jing Jia, the
silk thread needs to be coiled around Si Yue (絲籰, a wooden pulley wound up by
silk) as shown in Fig. 9.17b (Wang 1991), and several Si Yue would be combined

Fig. 9.17 A silk drawing device (經架, 絲籰) a Original illustration (Jing Jia) (Wang 1991),
b Original illustration (Si Yue) (Wang 1991), c Structural sketch
9.4 Textile Devices 213

to process warping. When the device is working, the operator rotates the handle to
pull out the silk from Si Yue. The silk thread goes over a wooden stand and then it
is coiled around the warping roll side by side for the purpose of collecting and
combining numerous silk threads.
This is a mechanism with four members and four joints, including a wooden
stand as the frame (member 1, KF), a warping roll with a handle (member 2, KU1),
Si Yue (member 3, KU2), and the silk thread (member 4, KT). The warping roll is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. The silk thread is connected to the
warping roll and Si Yue with wrapping joints JW. Si Yue is connected to the frame
with a revolute joint JRy. Figure 9.17c shows the structural sketch.

9.4.7 Mu Mian Kuang Chuang (木棉軠床, A Cotton


Drawing Device)

In the book Nong Shu《農書》, Mu Mian Kuang Chuang (木棉軠床, a cotton


drawing device) has the similar function and structure as Jing Jia (經架, a silk
drawing device) as shown in Fig. 9.18a (Wang 1991). The difference is that Jing
Jia is used to organize silk threads while Mu Mian Kuang Chuang deals with
cotton yarns. Figure 9.18b shows the structural sketch.

(a) (b)

JRy

KU2 (3)

JW
KT (4)

KU1 (2)

y
JRx KU1 (2) KT (4) KU2 (3)
x

KF (1) JW JW
z
JRx JRy

KF (1) KF (1)

Fig. 9.18 A cotton drawing device (木棉軠床) a Original illustration (Wang 1991), b Structural
sketch
Table 9.2 Flexible connecting mechanisms (19 items)
214

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Shai Gu (篩殼)Fig. 9.1 Sui Jing
Type I 《碎精》
Lv Long(驢礱)Fig. 9.2 Chu Jiu Sui Jing Nong Qi
Type I 《杵臼》 《碎精》 《農器》
Lu Lu(轆轤)Fig. 9.3 Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
Type I 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Shou Dong Fan Che Nai Li
(手動翻車) 《乃粒》
Ba Che (拔車) Fig. 9.4
Type I
Jia Ta Fan Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(腳踏翻車) 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Ta Che (踏車) Fig. 9.5
Type I
Gao Zhuan Tong Che Guai Gai Nai Li Shui Li Guai Gai
(高轉筒車) Fig. 9.6 《灌溉》 《乃粒》 《水利》 《灌溉》
Type I
Shui Zhuan Gao Che Guai Gai Shui Li
(水轉高車) Fig. 9.7 《灌溉》 《水利》
Type I (no illustration)
(continued)
9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms
Table 9.2 (continued)
Mechanism names Books
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Ru Shui Zuo Xian
(入水) 《作鹹》
9.4 Textile Devices

Ru Jing Fan Shi


(入井) Fig. 9.8 《燔石》
Type I Zhu Yu
《珠玉》
Zao Jing Zuo Xian
(鑿井) Fig. 9.9 《作鹹》
Type I
Mo Chuang (磨床) Zhu Yu
(a cutting jade device) Fig. 9.10 《珠玉》
Type I
Zha You Ji Gao Yi
(榨油機) Fig. 9.11 《膏液》
Type II
Pan Che Ma Zhu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(蟠車) Fig. 9.12 《麻苧》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Type I
Xu Che(絮車) Fig. 9.13 Kuang Xu Can Sang Can Shi
Type I 《纊絮》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Gan Mian Che (趕棉車) Fig. 9.14 Nai Fu
Type I 《乃服》
Tan Mian(彈棉) Fig. 9.15 Nai Fu
Type I 《乃服》
(continued)
215
Table 9.2 (continued)
216

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Shou Yao Fang Che Nai Fu
(手搖紡車) 《乃服》
Fang lu (紡縷) Fig. 9.16
Type I
Wei Che (緯車) Zhi Ren Nai Fu Can Sang Can Shi
Fang Wei (紡緯) Fig. 9.16 《織絍》 《乃服》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Type I
Jing Jia(經架) Fig. 9.17 Zhi Ren Can Sang Can Shi
Type I 《織絍》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Mu Mian Kuang Chuang Kuang Xu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(木棉軠床) Fig. 9.18 《纊絮》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Type I
9 Flexible Connecting Mechanisms
9.5 Summary 217

9.5 Summary

Based on the view of modern mechanisms, this chapter analyzes the devices with
flexible connecting members in the ancient books described in Chap. 2, as listed in
Table 9.2. There are two grain processing devices, five water lifting devices, four
handiwork devices, and eight textile devices. Among them, there are 18 mecha-
nisms (Shai Gu, Lv Long, Lu Lu, Shou Dong Fan Che, Jia Ta Fan Che, Gao Zhuan
Tong Che, Shui Zhuan Gao Che, Ru Shui, Zao Jing, Mo Chuang, Pan Che, Xu Che,
Gan Mian Che, Tan Mian, Shou Yao Fang Che, Wei Che, Jing Jia, Mu Mian Kuang
Chuang) with clear structures (Type I) and one mechanism (oil pressing device)
with uncertain types of joints (Type II). There are a total of 21 original illustra-
tions, 20 structural sketches, one simulation illustration, four imitation illustra-
tions, one prototype, and four real objects described in this chapter. Furthermore,
their power sources include human, animals, and water.

References

Chen WJ (1984) Chinese textile science and technology history (ancient part) (in Chinese). Science
Press, Beijing 陳維稷,中國紡織科學技術史(古代部分),科學出版社,北京,1984年。
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2010) Structural identification of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Chin Soc Mech Eng Taipei 31(5):383–392
Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese) Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai.《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Sun EZ, Sun SC (1966) Chinese technology in the seventeenth century. Dover Publications,
New York
Wang Z, Yuan Dynasty (1991) Nong Shu. Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing (in Chinese)《農
書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of inventions in chinese mechanical
engineering (in Chinese), 2nd edn. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing 張春輝、游戰洪、吳
宗澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年。
Chapter 10
Crossbows

Abstract Ancient Chinese crossbows combine cam and flexible connecting


mechanisms to shoot bolts for attacking long-distance targets. They are typical
military weapons developed from the application of elasticity. After the Spring-
Autumn and Warring Periods (770–221 BC), the manufacturing technology for
crossbows matured and evolved into many different types, such as the original
crossbow, Chu State repeating crossbow, and Zhuge repeating crossbow. Since the
types of crossbows were diversified and widely used in ancient China, the struc-
tures of crossbows should have many designs in different eras and regions. This
chapter systematically reconstructs all feasible designs of the crossbows that met
the ancient technological standards. The development of ancient Chinese cross-
bows is introduced. The mechanism structures of crossbows are analyzed. The
design constraints for the reconstruction designs are concluded and the different
types of crossbows are illustrated as examples.

10.1 Historical Development

Crossbows are one of the most important war weapons in ancient China. There are
three main types including the original crossbow (Hsiao 2013), Chu State
repeating crossbow (Hsiao and Yan 2012a), and Zhuge repeating crossbow
(Hsiao and Yan 2012a). Ancient Chinese crossbows were used to shoot bolts to
attack long-distance targets by utilizing the elasticity of the bow and bowstring.
The shooting process of a crossbow includes four steps: bowstring pulling, bolt
setting, bowstring releasing, and bolt shooting.
The original crossbow consists mainly of the frame (member 1, KF), a bow
(member 2, KCB), a bowstring (member 3, KT), and the trigger mechanism.
Figure 10.1a shows the mechanism structure of an original crossbow in the book
Wu Bei Zhi 《武備志》(Mao 2001). The frame (member 1, KF) is made from firm

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 219
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_10,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
220 10 Crossbows

Fig. 10.1 An original crossbow a Original illustration (Mao 2001) b Real object (photoed in
Beijing Capital Museum)

wood in which a hole, nut, and bolt channel are drilled for installing the trigger
mechanism, bow, and bolt, respectively. The bow (member 2, KCB) is a composite
member made from several pieces of different types of wood on which lacquer is
applied to prevent corrosion. Some bows are even encrusted with delicate bronze
and jade decorations. The intensity of the bow exceeds the one of a normal hand
bow. The bowstring (member 3, KT) is often made from animal tendons, silk
threads, or gut. The trigger mechanism installed on the frame is a cam mechanism
and is the core component of the original crossbow. It is used to hook the tensed
bowstring. When a shooter completes the bowstring pulling process, he needs to
set up a bolt and hold the frame to process aiming and shooting. Since the trigger
mechanism helps the shooter to aim the target stably, the accuracy of the shooting
has been enhanced greatly. The trigger mechanism includes Guo (郭, a casing
fixed in the frame, member 1, KF), Xuan Dao (懸刀, the input link, member 4, KI),
Niu (牛, the percussion link, member 5, KPL), and Wang Shan (望山, the con-
necting link, member 6, KL). Most of them are made from bronze, and each part is
interchangeable because the size of the parts is very accurate.
In the late Spring-Autumn Period (770–476 BC), the original crossbow
had been gradually developed and was used extensively after the Warring Period
(475–221 BC). For more 2,000 years, the original crossbow has been a standard
weapon of the ancient Chinese army. The earliest object of the original crossbow
with the trigger mechanism was excavated in Qufu City of Shandong Province (山
東省曲阜市) in China, and it can be dated back to 600 BC (Zhong 2008).
10.1 Historical Development 221

Figure 10.1b shows a bronze trigger mechanism from an excavation site of


Changan City (長安城) in the West Han Dynasty (西漢, 206 BC–AD 8), now
Xian City in Shanxi Province (陝西省西安市).
In view of the structures, the development of the original crossbow can be
divided in time into two stages: before and after the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD
220). Before the Han Dynasty, the trigger mechanism did not have a Guo (郭, a
casing), so that the parts of the trigger mechanism were installed in the wooden
frame directly. After the Han Dynasty, the original crossbow has two important
design improvements. The first one is to add a bronze casing, and the other is to
include a scale table with the shooting range on the trigger mechanism (Zhang
et al. 2004). The parts of the trigger mechanism installed in the bronze casing can
provide higher tension than those installed on the wooden frame. As a result, its
shooting range has increased greatly. Adding a scale table with the shooting range
on the trigger mechanism increases the accuracy of the shooting and helps the
shooter to hit the target more easily. After the Han Dynasty, the structures of the
original crossbow and trigger mechanism have not changed except that the size
became larger to increase the shooting range.
With the enhancement of accuracy, the next development in the crossbows was
to increase the shooting efficiency. Therefore, the repeating crossbow was
invented, one that can complete all four shooting processes at once by operating
the input link. According to the archaeological discoveries, the earliest object of
the repeating crossbow was excavated in Jiangling County of Hubei Province (湖
北省江陵縣) in China and can be dated back to 400 BC as shown in Fig. 10.2a.
Since the excavated site belonged to the Chu State (楚國) of the Warring Period,
the device was named as Chu State repeating crossbow (Zhong 2008; Jing 2009). It
consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a bow (member 2, KCB), a bowstring
(member 3, KT), an input link (member 4, KI), a percussion link (member 5, KPL),
and a connecting link (member 6, KL) as shown in Fig. 10.2b. The magazine is
fixed on top of the frame and contains 20 bolts. Each bolt is placed in the two bolt
channels in sequence. The percussion link and the connecting link are cleverly
attached on the input link in order to pull the bowstring. When pushing the input
link forward, the connecting link hooks the bowstring and then pulls the input link
backward. When the percussion link touches the switch point on the frame, the
bowstring is released to shoot two bolts at one time. By gravity, the bolts on the

Fig. 10.2 Chu State repeating crossbow (Jing 2009) a Real object b Kinematic sketch
222 10 Crossbows

magazine drop in the channels in sequence to wait for the firing. However, there is
no related record about Chu State repeating crossbow in any of the ancient
literature.
The book Records of the Three Kingdoms《三國志》 (Chen 1975) docu-
mented another repeating crossbow: “A repeating crossbow that can rise and fall is
called ‘Yuan Rong’(元戎). It uses iron-made bolts and is eight cun (寸, ancient
Chinese length of one tenth of a foot) long. It shoots ten bolts at one time.” 『損益
連弩,謂之「元戎」,以鐵為箭,長八寸,一弩十箭俱發。』 The book also called
Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮, AD 181–234), a famous politician at that time, was the
inventor of this repeating crossbow. Thus this device is called Zhuge repeating
crossbow. Figure 10.3 shows this design in the book Wu Bei Zhi 《武備志》(Mao
2001). It consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a bow (member 2, KCB), a bow-
string (member 3, KT), an input link (member 4, KI), and a magazine (member 5,
KPL). The device transforms the oscillating motion of the input link to the recip-
rocating motion of the magazine, achieving the function of the bowstring’s pulling
and releasing. Since Zhuge repeating crossbow has a shorter shooting range, the
bolt’s head needs to apply poisons to increase their harm. After the Song Dynasty
(AD 960–1,219), Zhuge repeating crossbow became the standard equipment in the
army. It was still used by the army of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1,644–1,971) until the
firs China-Japan war (AD 1,894–1,895). The basic structure of this weapon has
remained very much unchanged since its invention, making it one of the longest-
living mechanical weapons.

10.2 Structural Analysis

The topological structures of the ancient Chinese crossbows have different


arrangements during the shooting process. The original crossbow and Chu State
repeating crossbow generally consist of six members including the frame KF (1),

Fig. 10.3 Zhuge repeating


crossbow (Mao 2001)
10.2 Structural Analysis 223

the bow KCB (2), the bowstring KT (3), the input link KI (4), the percussion link KPL
(5), and the connecting link KL (6) as shown in Figs. 10.1a and 10.2. The structure
of Zhuge repeating crossbow is simplified and the number of members is five
without the connecting link as shown in Fig. 10.3. According to topology vari-
ability, the operations of the ancient Chinese crossbows can be divided into the
following four stages as shown in Fig. 10.4 (Hsiao and Yan 2012c):
1. The Undrawn Stage (before bowstring pulling)
This stage is ready to pull the bowstring. In time, the bow and the bowstring are
temporarily immovable; the input link, the percussion link, and the connecting
link are adjusted such that the bowstring can be properly drawn as shown in
Figs. 10.4a1, b1, and c1. The moment when the bowstring is pulled, the oper-
ation enters the second stage.
2. The Drawing Stage (on bowstring pulling)
Since the bowstring is forced to complete the pulling by the shooter’s hands in

(a)

(a1) (a2) (a 3) (a 4)

(b)

(b1) (b 2) (b 3) (b4)

(c)

(c1) (c2) (c3) (c4)

Fig. 10.4 Variable stages of ancient Chinese crossbows (Hsiao and Yan 2012c) a Original
crossbow b Chu State repeating crossbow c Zhuge repeating crossbow
224 10 Crossbows

the original crossbow, the bowstring can translate along the x-axis with respect
to the frame, denoted as JPx. The parts of the trigger mechanism can be treated
as to be incorporated with the frame temporarily as shown in Fig. 10.4a2.
However, the bowstring is automatically hooked through the operation of the
input link in the repeating crossbow. Chu State repeating crossbow hooks the
bowstring by its connecting link, Fig. 10.4b2, while Zhuge repeating crossbow
hooks the bowstring by its magazine, Fig. 10.4c2. When the bowstring pulling
is completed, the operation enters the next stage.
3. The Drawn Stage (completed bowstring pulling)
When the shooter pulls the bowstring to the trigger mechanism and loads the
bolt, he is ready to aim at the target for precision shooting in the original
crossbow as shown in Fig. 10.4a3. However, the bolt falls from the magazine by
gravity in the repeating crossbow. When the bowstring is drawn in the maxi-
mum position, the percussion link is connected to the frame with a cam joint JA
in Chu State repeating crossbow, Fig. 10.4b3 and the bowstring is connected to
the frame with a cam joint JA in Zhuge repeating crossbow, Fig. 10.4c3. When
the bowstring is released, the operation enters into the next stage.
4. The Shooting Stage (bolt shooting)
Through the elasticity of the bow and the bowstring, the bolt starts to be forced
in this stage. The bowstring translates along the x-axis with respect to the
frame, denoted as JPx, as shown in Figs. 10.4a4, b4, and c4. Until the bolt is shot
away, the bow and the bowstring return to the original position and the function
cycle will be periodically continued. In addition, the input link, the percussion
link, and the connecting link can be treated as to be incorporated with the
frame.

10.3 Original Crossbow

According to the study of excavated objects and historical literature, the original
crossbow consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a bow (member 2, KCB), a
bowstring (member 3, KT), an input link (member 4, KI), a percussion link
(member 5, KPL), and a connecting link (member 6, KL). It also contains one
bamboo joint (JBB), two thread joints (JT), two cam joints (JA), and three revolute
joints (JRz). Therefore, the original crossbow can be considered as a cam mech-
anism with six members and eight joints. Since the crossbows and trigger mech-
anisms have been used extensively in many areas in ancient China, the structure of
the original crossbow also varied in the different dynasties or areas. Furthermore,
from the viewpoint of modern mechanisms, if the connecting link is omitted, the
trigger mechanism still can hook the bowstring to save energy by utilizing the
delicate geometrical shape of the frame, the input link, and the percussion link.
The bowstring is hooked by the percussion link, and the input is driven to release
10.3 Original Crossbow 225

the bowstring to shoot the bolt. It is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers
and types of members and joints. Therefore, according to the reconstruction design
methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures, the reconstruction
designs of the original crossbow with five or six members and eight joints is
presented as follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a cam mechanism with five members (members 1–5) or six
members (members 1–6) with eight joints.
2. The frame (KF) is a multiple link.
3. The bow (KCB) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
a bamboo joint (JBB).
4. The bowstring (KT) is a binary link and connected to the bow (KCB)
with a thread joint (JT).
5. The input link (KI) is connected to the frame (KF) with a revolute
joint (JRz), but not to the bowstring (KT).
6. The percussion link (KPL) is connected to the frame (KF) and the
input link (KI) with uncertain joints.
7. The connecting link (KL) is connected to the input link (KI) and the
percussion link (KPL) with uncertain joints.
Step 2. Since the device is a mechanism with five or six members with eight
joints, the corresponding 15 generalized kinematic chains are shown in
Fig. 10.5.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the bow and the bowstring that
must be connected to the multiple link as the frame. Therefore, only
those four generalized kinematic chains shown in Figs. 10.5b2, d3, d4,
and d6 are qualified for the process of specialization. The feasible spe-
cialized chains are identified as follows:
Frame, bow, and bowstring (KF, KCB, and KT).
There must be a multiple link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary
links as the bow (KCB) and bowstring (KT). The bow must be connected
to the frame and the bowstring with a bamboo joint (JBB) and a thread
joint (JT), respectively. Therefore, the frame, the bow, and the bowstring
are identified as follows:
1. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5b2, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.6a1.
2. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5d3, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates two results
as shown in Figs. 10.6a2 and a3.
3. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5d4, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.6a4.
226 10 Crossbows

(a) (5, 5) (b1) (5, 6) (b2) (5, 6)

(c1) (5, 7) (c2) (5, 7) (c3) (5, 7)

(d1) (d2) (d3) (d4)

(d5) (d6) (d7) (d8) (d9)


Fig. 10.5 Atlas of some generalized kinematic chains with five and six members with eight
joints

4. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5d6, the assign-


ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.6a5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame, bow, and
bowstring are available as shown in Figs. 10.6a1–a5.
Input link (KI)
Since the input link (KI) must be connected to the frame (KF) with a
revolute joint (JRz) and not connected to the bowstring (KT), the input
link is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6a1, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.6b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6a2, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.6b2.
10.3 Original Crossbow 227

(a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) (a5)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4) (b5) (b6)

(c1) (c2) (c3) (c4) (c5)

(d1) (d2)

(d3) (d4) (d5) (d6) (d7)

(d8) (d9) (d10) (d11) (d12)

Fig. 10.6 Specialization of original crossbow

3. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6a3, the assignment of the input link
generates two results as shown in Figs. 10.6b3 and b4.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6a4, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.6b5.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6a5, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.6b6.
228 10 Crossbows

Therefore, six specialized chains with identified frame, bow, bow-


string, and input link are available in Figs. 10.6b1–b6
Percussion link and connecting link (KPL and KL)
The percussion link (KPL) is connected to the frame (KF) and the
input link (KI) with uncertain joints, and the remaining link should be
the connecting link (KL) that is connected to the input link (KI) and the
percussion link (KPL) with uncertain joints. Therefore, the percussion
link and the connecting link are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6b1, the assignment of the percussion
link generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.6c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6b2, the assignment of the percussion
link and the connecting link generates one result as shown in
Fig. 10.6c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6b3, the assignment of the percussion
link and the connecting link generates one result as shown in
Fig. 10.6c3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6b4, since there is no the connecting
link that is connected to the input link and the percussion link,
Fig. 10.6b4 is not qualified for the process of specialization.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6b5, the assignment of the percussion
link and the connecting link generates one result as shown in
Fig. 10.6c4.
6. For the case shown in Fig. 10.6b6, the assignment of the percussion
link and the connecting link generates one result as shown in
Fig. 10.6c5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame, bow, bow-
string, input link, percussion link, and connecting link are available as
shown in Figs.10.6c1–c5. However, the connecting link (KL) in
Fig.10.6c2 and the percussion link (KPL) in Fig.10.6c4 are redundant
during the shooting process. This means that the concepts in Figs.10.6c2
and c4 degenerate into five members, and these two specialized chains
are not feasible.
Step 4: The coordinate system is defined as shown Fig. 10.1a. The function of
the trigger mechanism is to pull the input link to release the bowstring
through the transmission of the percussion link and the connecting link.
The uncertain joints may have multiple types to achieve the equivalent
function.
1. Considering uncertain joints J1 and J2, each one has two possible
types and they cannot be the same type simultaneously. When any
one joint rotates about the z-axis, denoted as JRz, the other one is a
cam joint, denoted as JA.
2. Considering uncertain joint J3, it has two possible types. If J3 is a
revolute joint, denoted as JRz, J4 must be a cam joint, denoted as JA.
10.3 Original Crossbow 229

In addition, J5 and J6 have two possible types and they cannot be the
same type, simultaneously. When any one rotates about the z-axis,
denoted as JRz, the other one is a cam joint, denoted as JA.
3. If J3 is a cam joint, denoted as JA, J4, J5 and J6 have two possible
types. When any one is a cam joint, denoted as JA, the others rotate
about the z-axis, denoted as JRz.
By assigning the possible types of uncertain joints J1 (JRz and JA), J2
(JRz and JA), J3 (JRz and JA), J4 (JRz and JA), J5 (JRz and JA), and J6 (JRz
and JA) to the specialized chains shown in Figs. 10.6c1, c3 and c5, 12
specialized chains with particular joints as shown in Figs. 10.6d1–d12 are
obtained.
Step 5: Considering the motions and functions of the mechanism, each spe-
cialized chain with particular joints is particularized to obtain the atlas
of feasible designs that meet the ancient technical standards. Fig-
ures 10.7a–l show the corresponding 3D solid models of the feasible
designs of trigger mechanism. Figures 10.8a and b show an imitation
illustration and a prototype of the original crossbow, respectively.

Fig. 10.7 Atlas of feasible designs of trigger mechanism


230 10 Crossbows

Fig. 10.8 Original crossbow


(Hsiao 2013) a Imitation
illustration b Prototype

10.4 Chu State Repeating Crossbow

Based on the excavated objects, Chu State repeating crossbow consists of the
frame (member 1, KF), a bow (member 2, KCB), a bowstring (member 3, KT), an
input link (member 4, KI), a percussion link (member 5, KPL), and a connecting
link (member 6, KL). It also contains one bamboo joint (JBB), two thread joints (JT),
two cam joints (JA), and three revolute joints (JRz). Therefore, Chu State repeating
crossbow can be considered a cam mechanism with six members and eight joints.
The function of the connecting link is to hold the bowstring. When the input link
pulls the bowstring to its limited position, the percussion link touches the switch
point and then releases the bowstring. However, Zhuge repeating crossbow
replaces the connecting link by the magazine (the percussion link) that can hold
the bowstring directly. Such a design may have existed in the design of Chu State
repeating crossbow as well. Therefore, the number of members of Chu State
repeating crossbow may be five or six. It is a Type III mechanism with uncertain
numbers and types of members and joints. According to the reconstruction design
methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures, the reconstruction
designs of Chu State repeating crossbow with five or six members and eight joints
is presented as follows:
10.4 Chu State Repeating Crossbow 231

Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a cam mechanism with five members (members 1–5) or six
members (members 1–6) with eight joints.
2. The frame (KF) is a ternary link.
3. The bow (KCB) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
a bamboo joint (JBB).
4. The bowstring (KT) is a binary link and connected to the bow (KCB)
with a thread joint (JT).
5. The input link (KI) is connected to the frame (KF) with a prismatic
joint (JPx), but not to the bowstring (KT).
6. The percussion link (KPL) is connected to the frame (KF) with a cam
joint (JA).
Step 2. Since the device is a mechanism with five or six members with eight
joints, the corresponding generalized kinematic chains are shown in
Fig. 10.5.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the bow and the bowstring that
must be connected to the ternary link as the frame. Therefore, only those
three generalized kinematic chains shown in Figs. 10.5b2, d3, and d6 are
qualified for the process of specialization. The feasible specialized
chains are identified as follows:
Frame, bow, and bowstring (KF, KCB, and KT)
There must be a ternary link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary
links as the bow (KCB) and bowstring (KT). The bow must be connected
to the frame and the bowstring with a bamboo joint (JBB) and a thread
joint (JT), respectively. Therefore, the frame, the bow and the bowstring
are identified as follows:
1. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5b2, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.9a1.
2. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5d3, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.9a2.
3. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5d6, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.9a3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, bow, and
bowstring are available as shown in Figs. 10.9a1–a3.
Input link (KI)
Since the input link (KI) must be connected to the frame (KF) with a
prismatic joint (JPx) and not connected to the bowstring (KT), the input
link is identified as follows:
232 10 Crossbows

(a1) (a2) (a3)

(b1) (b2) (b3)

(c1) (c2) (c3)

(d1) (d2) (d3) (d4)

(d5) (d6) (d7)


Fig. 10.9 Specialization of Chu State repeating crossbow
10.4 Chu State Repeating Crossbow 233

1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.9a1, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.9b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.9a2, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.9b2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 10.9a3, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Figs. 10.9b3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, bow,
bowstring, and input link are available in Figs. 10.9b1–b3.
Percussion link and connecting link (KPL and KL)
The percussion link (KPL) is connected to the frame (KF) with a cam joint
(JA), and the remaining link should be the connecting link (KL). Therefore,
the percussion link and the connecting link are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.9b1, the assignment of the percussion
link generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.9c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.9b2, the assignment of the percussion link
and the connecting link generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.9c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 10.9b3, the assignment of the percussion link
and the connecting link generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.9c3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, bow,
bowstring, input link, percussion link, and connecting link are available
as shown in Figs. 10.9c1–c3.
Step 4. The rectangular coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 10.2b. The
shooting processes of Chu State repeating crossbow is to transform the
reciprocating motion of the input link to pull and release the bowstring
to shoot the bolts. The uncertain joints may have multiple types to
achieve the equivalent function.
1. Considering uncertain joint J1, it has one possible type: the input link
rotates about the z-axis with respect to the percussion link, denoted as JRz.
2. Considering uncertain joints J2, J3 and J4, each one has two possible
types. When any one is a cam joint, denoted as JA, the others rotate
about the z-axis, denoted as JRz.
By assigning the possible types of uncertain joints J1 (JRz), J2 (JRz and
JA), J3 (JRz and JA), and J4 (JRz and JA) to the specialized chains shown in
Figs. 10.9c1–c3, seven specialized chains with particular joints as shown
in Figs. 10.9d1–d7 are obtained.
Step 5. Considering the motions and functions of the mechanism, each spe-
cialized chain with particular joints is particularized to obtain the atlas of
feasible designs that meet the ancient technical standards. Fig-
ures 10.10a–g show the corresponding 3D solid models of the feasible
designs. Figures 10.11a–b show an imitation illustration and a prototype
of Chu State repeating crossbow, respectively.
234 10 Crossbows

Fig. 10.10 Atlas of feasible designs of Chu State repeating crossbow

Fig. 10.11 Chu State


repeating crossbow (Hsiao
and Yan 2012a) a Imitation
illustration b Prototype
10.5 Zhuge Repeating Crossbow 235

10.5 Zhuge Repeating Crossbow

For Zhuge repeating crossbow, the existing literature does not specify whether its
magazine is movable or not. Therefore, it has two different types according to the
magazine is movable or fixed on the frame. Both of them are Type III mechanisms
with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints and are presented as
follows:

10.5.1 With Movable Magazine

This type of Zhuge repeating crossbow is to transform the oscillating motion of the
input link into the reciprocating motion of the magazine. In time, the magazine
needs to hold the bowstring, and coordinates with the switch point of the frame to
complete the function of bowstring releasing. It consists of the frame (member 1,
KF), a bow (member 2, KCB), a bowstring (member 3, KT), an input link (member
4, KI), and a magazine (member 5, KPL) that can hold the bowstring. According to
the reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain
structures, the reconstruction designs of Zhuge repeating crossbow with movable
magazine is presented as follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a cam mechanism with five members (members 1–5).
2. The frame (KF) is a ternary link.
3. The bow (KCB) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
a bamboo joint (JBB).
4. The bowstring (KT) is a binary link and connected to the bow (KCB)
and the magazine (KPL) with thread joints (JT).
5. The input link (KI) is connected to the frame (KF) with an uncertain joint.
6. The magazine (KPL) is a ternary link and connected to the frame (KF)
and the input link (KI) with a cam joint (JA) and an uncertain joint,
respectively.
Step 2. Since the device is a mechanism with five members, the corresponding
generalized kinematic chains are shown in Figs. 10.5a–c.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as a bow and a bowstring that must be
connected to the ternary link as the frame. Therefore, only the generalized
kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5b2 is qualified for the process of spe-
cialization. All feasible specialized chains are identified as follows:
Frame, bow, and bowstring (KF, KCB, and KT)
There must be a ternary link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary
links as the bow (KCB) and bowstring (KT). The bow must be connected
to the frame and the bowstring with a bamboo joint (JBB) and a thread
236 10 Crossbows

joint (JT), respectively. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in


Fig. 10.5b2, the assignment of the frame, bow, and bowstring generates
one result, as shown in Fig. 10.12a.
Input link (KI)
The input link (KI) must be connected to the frame (KF) with an
uncertain joint. For the case shown in Fig. 10.12a, the assignment of the
input link generates two results as shown in Figs. 10.12b1 and b2.
Magazine (KPL)
The magazine (KPL) is a ternary link and connected to the frame (KF)
and the input link (KI) with a cam joint (JA) and an uncertain joint,
respectively. Therefore, the magazine is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.12b1, the assignment of the magazine
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.12c.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.12b2, no ternary link can be assigned to
the magazine.
Therefore, only one specialized chain with identified frame, bow,
bowstring, input link, and magazine is available as shown in Fig. 10.12c.

(a)

(b1) (b2) (c)

(d1) (d2) (d3) (d4)


Fig. 10.12 Specialization of Zhuge repeating crossbow with movable magazine
10.5 Zhuge Repeating Crossbow 237

Fig. 10.13 Atlas of feasible designs of Zhuge repeating crossbow with movable magazine

Step 4. The rectangular coordinate system is defined as shown Fig. 10.3. The
function of the magazine is to hook the bowstring and then release it to
shoot bolts. The uncertain joints may have multiple types to achieve the
equivalent function. Considering the uncertain joints J1 and J2, each one
has two possible types: the first one rotates about the z-axis, denoted as
JRz; the second translates along the x-axis, denoted as J Px. By assigning
the possible types of uncertain joints J1 and J2 (JRz and J Px), to the
specialized chain shown in Figs. 10.12c, four specialized chains with
particular joints as shown in Figs. 10.12d1–d4 are obtained
Step 5. Since a mechanism with double sliders has the drawback of the trans-
mission and was rare in ancient China, it does not meet the ancient
technological standards. By removing the one shown in Fig. 10.12d4,
three feasible specialized chains with particular joints are available as
shown in Figs. 10.12d1–d3. Figures 10.13a and c show the corresponding
3D solid models of the feasible designs. Figures 10.14a and b show an
imitation of the original illustration and a prototype, respectively.

10.5.2 With Fixed Magazine

If the magazine is fixed on the frame, the dropping process of the bolts would be
more stable, and thus the accuracy of the shooting is enhanced. In time, the input
link needs to hold the bowstring and coordinates with the switch point on the
frame, to complete the function of the bowstring releasing. It consists of the frame
(member 1, KF), a bow (member 2, KCB), a bowstring (member 3, KT), and an
input link (member 4, KI). Furthermore, adding a percussion link (member 5, KPL)
to pull the bowstring can enhance the efficiency of the shooting bolts. Such a
design was also shown in other repeating crossbows. Therefore, Zhuge repeating
crossbow with a fixed magazine can be a mechanism with four or five members.
According to the reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with
uncertain structures, the reconstruction designs of Zhuge repeating crossbow with
fixed magazine is presented as follows:
Step 1. The structural characteristics of the device that are different from Zhuge
repeating crossbow with movable magazine described above are:
238 10 Crossbows

Fig. 10.14 Zhuge repeating


crossbow with movable
magazine (Hsiao and Yan
2012b) a Imitation
illustration b Prototype

1. It is a cam mechanism with four members (members 1–4) or five


members (members 1–5).
2. For a four-member mechanism, the frame (KF) is a binary link; and
for a five-member mechanism, the frame (KF) is a ternary link.
3. The bowstring (KT) is a binary link and connected to the bow (KCB) and
the input link (KI) or the percussion link (KPL) with thread joints (JT).
4. The percussion link (KPL) is a ternary link and connected to the frame
(KF) and the input link (KI) with uncertain joints.
Step 2. Since the device is a mechanism with four or five members, the corre-
sponding generalized kinematic chains are shown in Figs. 10.5a, b, c and
Fig. 10.15.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the bow and the bowstring. If the
device is a five-member mechanism, the pair of binary links must be
connected to a ternary link as the frame. Therefore, only those two
generalized kinematic chains in Fig. 10.5b2 and Fig. 10.15a are qualified
for the process of specialization. All feasible specialized chains are
identified as follows:
10.5 Zhuge Repeating Crossbow 239

Fig. 10.15 Atlas of some


generalized kinematic chains
with four members

(a) N=4, J=4 (b) N=4, J=5 (c) N=4, J=6

Frame, bow, and bowstring (KF, KCB, and KT)


There must be a pair of binary links as the bow (KCB) and bowstring
(KT). And, the bow must be connected to the frame (KF) and the bowstring
with a bamboo joint (JBB) and a thread joint (JT), respectively. Therefore,
the frame, the bow, and the bowstring are identified as follows:
1. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.15a, the
assignment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one
result as shown in Fig. 10.16a1.
2. For a generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 10.5b2, the assign-
ment of the frame, the bow, and the bowstring generates one result as
shown in Fig. 10.16a2.
Therefore, two specialized chains with identified frame, bow, and
bowstring are available as shown in Figs. 10.16a1 and a2.
Input link (KI)
Since the input link (KI) must be connected to the frame (KF) with an
uncertain joint, the input link is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.16a1, the assignment of the input link
generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.16b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.16a2, the assignment of the input link
generates two results as shown in Figs. 10.16b2 and b3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, bow,
bowstring, and input link are available as shown in Figs. 10.16b1–b3.
Percussion link (KPL)
The percussion link (KPL) is a ternary link and connected to the frame
(KF) and the input link (KI) with a cam joint (JA) and an uncertain joint,
respectively. Therefore, the percussion link is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 10.16b2, the assignment of the percussion
link generates one result as shown in Fig. 10.16c.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 10.16b3, no ternary link can be assigned as
a percussion link.
Therefore, one specialized chain with identified frame, bow, bow-
string, input link, and percussion link is available as shown in Fig. 10.16c.
Step 4. The rectangular coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 10.3. The
function of the input link (in four-member design) and the percussion
240 10 Crossbows

(a1) (a2)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (c)

(d1) (d2)

(d3) (d4) (d5) (d6)

Fig. 10.16 Specialization of Zhuge repeating crossbow with fixed magazine

link (in five-member design) is to draw and release the bowstring to


shoot the bolt. The uncertain joints may have multiple types to achieve
the equivalent function.
1. Considering uncertain joint J3, it has two possible types: the first one
translates along the x-axis, denoted as J Px; the second not only rotates
Px
about the z-axis but also translates along the x-axis, denoted as JRz .
2. Considering uncertain joints J4 and J5, each one has two possible
types: the first one rotates about the z-axis, denoted as JRz; the second
translates along the x-axis, denoted as J Px.
10.5 Zhuge Repeating Crossbow 241

Fig. 10.17 Atlas of feasible designs of Zhuge repeating crossbow with fixed magazine

By assigning the possible types of uncertain joints J3(J Px and JRz


Px
),
Px Px
J4(JRz and J ), and J5(JRz and J ) to the specialized chains shown in
Figs. 10.16b1 and c, six specialized chains with particular joints as
shown in Figs. 10.16d1–d6 are obtained.
Step 5. Since a mechanism with double sliders has the drawback of the trans-
mission and was rare in ancient China, it does not meet the ancient
technological standards. By removing the one shown in Fig. 10.16d6,
five feasible specialized chains with particular joints are available as
shown in Figs. 10.16d1–d5. Figures 10.17a–e show the corresponding 3D
solid models of the feasible designs.

10.6 Summary

Ancient Chinese crossbows used cams and flexible members to shoot bolts for
attacking targets, by the elasticity of bows and bowstrings. It was one of the most
representative weapons in ancient China. This chapter discusses the original
crossbow, Chu State repeating crossbow, and Zhuge repeating crossbow in the
ancient books described in Chap. 2, as listed in Table 10.1. All of them belong to
Type III mechanisms with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints.
The original crossbow had been used from the earliest time and in the widest areas.
Chu State repeating crossbow is the earliest repeating crossbow, even though it is
not seen in any of ancient literature. Zhuge repeating crossbow had been one of the
standard weapons in the army until the Qing Dynasty (AD 1,644–1,971). There are
a total of two original illustrations, four simulation illustrations, three imitation
illustrations, three prototypes, and two real objects described in this chapter.
Through the reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with
uncertain structures, the atlas of the feasible designs is obtained and a variety of
crossbows are reconstructed.
242 10 Crossbows

Table 10.1 Crossbows (3 items)


Mechanism Books
names
Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Nong Zheng Qin Ding
《農書》 《武備志》 Kai Wu Quan Shu Shou Shi
《天工開 物》 《農政全書》 Tong Kao
《欽定授
時通考》
Original Jia Bing Jun Zi Cheng
crossbow 《佳兵》 《軍資乘》
Fig. 10.1 Zhen Lian Zhi
Type III 《陣練制》
Chu State
repeating
crossbow
(No ancient
document
recorded)
Fig. 10.2
Type III
Zhuge Jia Bing Jun Zi Cheng
repeating 《佳兵》 《軍資乘》
crossbow
Fig. 10.3
Type III

References

Chen S (Jin Dynasty) (1975) San Guo Zhi (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing 《三
國志》;陳壽[晉朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1975年。
Hsiao KH (2013) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese original crossbow. Trans Canadian Soc
Mech Eng 37(2):65−77
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2012a) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese Chu State repeating crossbow.
Advances in Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots I. Springer, London, pp 749–758
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2012b) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese Zhuge repeating crossbow.
Explorations in the History of Machines and Mechanisms. Springer, Netherlands, pp 213–228
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2012c) Structural analyses of ancient Chinese crossbows. J Sci Innov 2(1):1–8
Jing Zhou Museum (2009) Important archeology discoveries in Jin Zhou. Cultural Relics
Publishing House, Beijing 荊州博物館編,荊州重要考古發現,文物出版社,北京,2009年。
Mao YY (Ming Dynasty) (2001) Wu Bei Zhi (in Chinese). Henan Education Press, Henan《武備
志》;茅元儀[明朝]撰,海南出版社,海南,2001年。
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of inventions in Chinese mechanical
engineering (in Chinese), 2nd edn. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing 張春輝、游戰洪、吳
宗澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年。
Zhong SY (2008) History of Military affairs and engineering technology in ancient China (in
Chinese). Shanxi Education Publishing House, Shanxi 鐘少異,中國古代軍事工程技術使(上
古至五代),山西教育出版社,山西,2008年。
Chapter 11
Complex Textile Devices

Abstract There were numerous textile mechanical inventions in ancient China.


Some of them have complex structures, such as the foot-operated silk-reeling
mechanism, foot-operated spinning device, belt drive spinning device, foot-oper-
ated slanting loom, and drawloom for pattern-weaving. Since these complex textile
devices consist of several mechanisms, it is difficult to classify them based on the
types of mechanical members. This chapter systematically reconstructs all feasible
designs of the complex textile devices that meet the ancient technological stan-
dards. The functions and components of the textile devices are explained. The
mechanism structures of the textile devices are analyzed. The design constraints
for the reconstruction designs are concluded and examples are provided for
explaining.

11.1 Sao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling


Mechanism)

Sao Che (繅車, a foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism), also called Zao Che (繰
車), is used to extract and coil silk. Figure 11.1 shows the original illustration of Sao
Che (Wang 1969). It consists of a cocoon cooking pot, several guide eyes, Gu (鼓, a
pulley with an eccentric lug), one or two guide links, a belt, Ren Zhou (軠軸, a reel
with a crank), a treadle, and one or two connecting links. Silk is extracted from
cocoons in the cooking pot and passes through the guide eyes and the rack in the
cooking pot. By the motion of the guide link(s), silk is coiled around the reel. There
is a vertical pulley that has an eccentric lug on the top. One end of a belt circles
around the reel, and the other end is covered on the pulley. The lug of the pulley is
connected to the guide link. The operator pedals the treadle to generate the rotation
of the reel through the motion of one or two connecting links. At the same time, the

K.-H. Hsiao and K.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 243
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9_11,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
244 11 Complex Textile Devices

One or two guide links, KGL1 (8) and KGL2 (9)


Cylinder with an eccentric lug, KWC (7)

Rack y
Belt, KT (6) x
Guide eyes
z

Cocoons Reel with a crank, KCR (3)

One or two connecting links, KL1 (4) and KL2 (5)

Cooking pot
Frame, KF (1)
Treadle, KTr (2)

Fig. 11.1 A foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism (Wang 1969)

reel drives the pulley by the belt. The pulley moves one or two guide links to guide
the silk. The individual fibers of silk are pulled from the cocoons in the heated
water, passing through guiding eyes and over the rack before being laid down on the
reel. Because of the function of the guide link(s), the silk string oscillates from side
to side and forms even layers on the reel (Jia 1968; Chen 1984).
The foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism can be divided by the function into
two sub-mechanisms: the treadle crank mechanism and the guide silk mechanism
(Hsiao et al. 2010). Each of them is presented as follows:

Treadle Crank Mechanism


The treadle crank mechanism includes the frame (member 1, KF), a treadle
(member 2, KTr), a reel with a crank (member 3, KCR), and one or two connecting
links (member 4, KL1, and member 5, KL2). Since there are many uncertain por-
tions in the illustration, it is difficult to clarify how the oscillating motion of the
treadle transfers to the rotation of the reel. Thus, this sub-mechanism is a Type III
mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints. A rectan-
gular coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.1. The z-axis is determined
by the direction of the shaft of the reel, and the x and y axes are defined as the
horizontal and vertical directions of the frame, respectively. According to the
reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain struc-
tures, the reconstruction design of the treadle crank mechanism is presented as
follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar mechanism with four members (members 1–4) or five
members (members 1–5).
11.1 Shao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling Mechanism) 245

(a) (b) (c)

(d) (e) (f)

(g) (h) (i)

Fig. 11.2 Atlas of some generalized kinematic chains with four and five members. a N = 4,
J = 4, b N = 4, J = 5, c N = 4, J = 6, d N = 5, J = 5, e N = 5, J = 6, f N = 5, J = 6, g N = 5,
J = 7, h N = 5, J = 7, i N = 5, J = 7

2. The treadle (KTr) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
a revolute joint (JRz).
3. The reel (KCR) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with a
revolute joint (JRz).
4. There must be a binary link as the connecting link that is connected to
the treadle (KTr) and/or the reel (KCR) with revolute joints (JRz).
Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with four or five members, the corre-
sponding atlas of generalized kinematic chains with four and five mem-
bers are shown in Fig. 11.2.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and the connecting link,
or the connecting link and the reel. Therefore, only those three generalized
kinematic chains shown in Figs. 11.2a, d and f are qualified for the process
of specialization. All feasible specialized chains are identified as follows:
246 11 Complex Textile Devices

Frame (KF)
Since there must be a link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary links is
connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.3a1.
2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2d, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.3a2.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.3a3.

(a1) (a2) (a3)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4)

(c1) (c2) (c3) (c4)

(d1) (d2) (d3) (d4)

(e1) (e2) (e3) (e4) (e5)

Fig. 11.3 Specialization of the treadle crank mechanism


11.1 Shao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling Mechanism) 247

Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.3a1–a3.

Treadle (KTr)
Since there must be a binary link as the treadle (KTr) that is connected to the
frame (KF) with a revolute joint (JRz), the treadle is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3a1, the assignment of the treadle generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.3b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3a2, the assignment of the treadle generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.3b2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3a3, the assignment of the treadle generates two
results as shown in Figs. 11.3b3 and b4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame and treadle are avail-
able as shown in Figs. 11.3b1–b4.

Reel with a crank (KCR)


Since there must be a binary link as a reel (KCR) that is connected to the frame
(KF) with a revolute joint (JRz), the reel is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3b1, the assignment of the reel generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.3c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3b2, the assignment of the reel generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.3c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3b3, the assignment of the reel generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.3c3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3b4, the assignment of the reel generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.3c4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, and reel are
available as shown in Figs. 11.3c1–c4.

Connecting link 1 and connecting link 2 (KL1 and KL2)


Since there must be a binary link as connecting link 1 (KL1) that is connected to
the treadle (KTr) and/or the reel (KCR) with revolute joints (JRz), and the remaining
link should be connecting link 2 (KL2), connecting link 1 and connecting link 2 are
identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3c1, the assignment of connecting link 1 gen-
erates one result as shown in Fig. 11.3d1. Figure 11.3d1 is completed for the
process of specialization, and all members and joints are certain.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3c2, the assignment of connecting link 1, con-
necting link 2, and uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown Fig. 11.3d2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3c3, the assignment of connecting link 1, con-
necting link 2, and uncertain joints J2, J3, J4, generates one result as shown
Fig. 11.3d3.
248 11 Complex Textile Devices

4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3c4, the assignment of connecting link 1, con-
necting link 2, and uncertain joints J5, J6, J7, generates one result as shown
Fig. 11.3d4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, reel, con-
necting link 1, and connecting link 2 are available as shown in Figs. 11.3d1–d4.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.1. The function of
the treadle crank mechanism is to generate the rotation of the crank from
the oscillating motion of the treadle. The uncertain joints may have
multiple types to achieve the equivalent function. Since the device is
planar, the uncertain joints must be planar joints.
1. Considering uncertain joints J1, J2, and J5, each joint has one possible type:
connecting link 1 rotates about the z-axis with respect to connecting link 2,
denoted as JRz.
2. Considering uncertain joints J3 and J4, each joint has two possible types and
they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one rotates about the
z-axis, denoted as JRz, the other one rotates not only about the z-axis but also
Px
translates along the x-axis, denoted as JRz .
3. Considering uncertain joints J6 and J7, each joint has two possible types and
they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one rotates about the
z-axis, denoted as JRz , the other one rotates not only about the z-axis but also
Px
translates along the x-axis, denoted as JRz .
By assigning all possible types of uncertain joints J1(JRz ), J2(JRz ), J3(JRz and
Px Px Px Px
JRz ), J4(JRz and JRz ), J5(JRz ), J6(JRz and JRz ), and J7(JRz and JRz ) to the specialized
chains shown in Figs. 11.3d2–d4, five specialized chains with particular joints as
shown in Figs. 11.3e1–e5 are obtained.
Step 5. Based on Eq. (3.1), the number of degrees of freedom of Fig. 11.3e1 is 2.
This means that the motion is not constrained. By removing such a chain,
five feasible specialized chains with particular joints are available as
shown in Figs. 11.3d1 and e2–e5. Figures 11.4a–e show the corresponding
3D solid models of the feasible designs.

Guide Silk Mechanism


The guild silk mechanism consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a reel with a
crank (member 3, KCR), a belt (member 6, KT), a cylinder with an eccentric lug
(member 7, KWC), and one or two guide links (member 8 KGL1, and member 9
KGL2). Since there are many uncertain portions in the illustration, it is difficult to
clarify how the guide links guide the silk string to form even layers. Thus, this sub-
mechanism is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members
and joints. A coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.1. According to the
reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain struc-
tures, the reconstruction design of the guide silk mechanism is presented as
follows:
11.1 Shao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling Mechanism) 249

Fig. 11.4 Atlas of feasible designs of the treadle crank mechanism

Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar mechanism with five members (members 1, 3, and 6–8) or
six members (members 1, 3, 6–9).
2. The reel with a crank (KCR) is a binary link and connected to the frame
(KF) with a revolute joint (JRz).
3. The belt (KT) is a binary link and connected to the reel (KCR) and the
cylinder (KWC) with wrapping joints (JW).
4. The cylinder with an eccentric lug (KWC) is a ternary link and con-
nected to the frame (KF) and guide link 1 (KGL1) with a revolute joint
(JRy) and an uncertain joint, respectively.
5. One guide link is connected to the frame (KF) with an uncertain joint.
250 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.5 Atlas of (6, 7) and (a) (b) (c)


(6, 8) generalized kinematic
chains. a N = 6, J = 7,
b N = 6, J = 7, c N = 6,
J = 7, d N = 6, J = 8,
e N = 6, J = 8, f N = 6,
J = 8, g N = 6, J = 8,
h N = 6, J = 8, i N = 6,
J = 8, j N = 6, J = 8,
(d) (e) (f)
k N = 6, J = 8, l N = 6, J = 8

(g) (h) (i)

(j) (k) (l)

Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with five or six members, the corre-
sponding generalized kinematic chains are shown in Figs. 11.2d–i and 11.5.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the reel and the belt. The pair of
binary links must be connected to a multiple link as the frame and a
ternary link as the cylinder, respectively. Therefore, only those three
generalized kinematic chains shown in Figs. 11.2f, 11.5b and f are qual-
ified for the process of specialization. All feasible specialized chains are
obtained as follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a multiple link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary links
is connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6a1.
2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.5b, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6a2.
11.1 Shao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling Mechanism) 251

(a1) (a2) (a3) (a4)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4)

(c1) (c2) (c3)

(d1) (d2) (d3)

(e1) (e2) (e3) (e4) (e5)

(e6) (e7) (e8) (e9) (e10)

Fig. 11.6 Specialization of the guide silk mechanism

3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.5f, the assignment of the
frame generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.6a3 and a4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.6a1–a4.
252 11 Complex Textile Devices

Reel and Belt (KCR and KT)


There must be a pair of binary links as the reel (KCR) and the belt (KT), and the
reel is connected to the frame and the belt with a revolute joint (JRz) and a
wrapping joint (JW), respectively. Therefore, the reel and the belt are identified as
follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6a1, the assignment of the reel and the belt
generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6a2, the assignment of the reel and the belt
generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6b2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6 a3, the assignment of the reel and the belt
generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6b3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6a4, the assignment of the reel and the belt
generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6b4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame, reel, and belt are
available as shown in Figs. 11.6b1–b4.
Cylinder with an eccentric lug (KWC)
There must be a ternary link as the cylinder (KWC), and the cylinder is con-
nected to the frame and the belt with a revolute joint (JRy) and a wrapping joint
(JW), respectively. Therefore, the cylinder is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6b1, the assignment of the cylinder generates one
result as shown Fig. 11.6c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6b2, the assignment of the cylinder generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.6c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6b3, the assignment of the cylinder generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.6c3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6 b4, since there is no ternary link as the cylinder
that is connected to the frame and the belt, Fig. 11.6 b4 is not qualified for the
process of specialization.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, reel, belt, and cylinder
are available as shown in Figs. 11.6c1–c3.
Guide link 1 and guide link 2 (KGL1 and KGL2)
Since guide link 1 (KGL1) must be connected to the cylinder, and the remaining
link should be guide link 2 (KGL2), guide link 1 and guide link 2 are identified as
follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6c1, the assignment of guide link 1 and uncertain
joints J8 and J9 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.6d1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6c2, the assignment of guide link 1, guide link 2,
and uncertain joints J10, J11, and J12 generates one result as shown in
Fig. 11.6d2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.6c3, the assignment of guide link 1, guide link 2,
and uncertain joints J13, J14, J15, and J16 generates one result as shown in
Fig. 11.6d3.
11.1 Shao Che (繅車, A Foot-Operated Silk-Reeling Mechanism) 253

Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, reel, belt, cylinder,
guide link 1, and guide link 2 are available as shown in Figs. 11.6d1–d3.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.1. The function of
the guide silk mechanism is to transfer the rotation of the cylinder to the
reciprocating motion of the guide link and make the silk broad bands on
the reel. The uncertain joints may have multiple types to achieve the
equivalent function. Since the device is planar, the uncertain joints must
be planar joints.
1. Considering uncertain joints J8 and J9, each joint has two possible types and
they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one rotates about the
y-axis, denoted as JRy , the other one not only rotates about the y-axis but also
Pz
translates along the z-axis, denoted as JRy
2. Considering uncertain joint J10, it has one possible type: guide link 1 rotates
about the y-axis with respect to the cylinder, denoted as JRy .
3. Considering uncertain joints J11 and J12, each joint has two possible types: the
first one rotates about the y-axis, denoted as JRy ; and the other translates along
the z-axis, denoted as J Pz .
4. Considering uncertain joints J13 and J14, each joint has two possible types and
they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one rotates about the
y-axis, denoted as JRy , the other one not only rotates about the y-axis but also
Pz
translates along the z-axis, denoted as JRy .
5. Considering uncertain joints J15 and J16, each joint has two possible types and
they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one of the joints
rotates about the y-axis, denoted as JRy , the other one not only rotates about the
Pz
y-axis but also translates along the z-axis, denoted as JRy .
Pz
By assigning all possible types of uncertain joints J8(JRy and JRy ), J9(JRy and
Pz Pz Pz Pz Pz
JRy ),J10(JRy ), J11(JRy and J ), J12(JRy and J ), J13(JRy and JRy ), J14(JRy and JRy ),
Pz Pz
J15(JRy and JRy ) and J16(JRy and JRy ) to the specialized chains shown in
Figs. 11.6d1–d3, 10 specialized chains with particular joints as shown in
Figs. 11.6e1–e10 are obtained.
Step 5. Since a mechanism with double sliders has the drawback of the transmission
and was rare in ancient China, it does not meet the ancient technological
standards. By removing the one shown in Fig. 11.6e6, nine feasible
specialized chains with particular joints are obtained as shown in
Figs. 11.6e1–e5, e7–e10. Figures 11.7a–i show the corresponding 3D solid
models of the feasible designs. Figure 11.8 shows an imitation illustration of
the foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism in the book Nong Shu《農書》.
254 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.7 Atlas of feasible designs of the guide silk mechanism

11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device)

Fang Che (紡車, a spinning device) is used for yarn spinning. By different power
sources and applied mechanical members, the spinning devices can be divided into
three types: Shou Yao Fang Che (手搖紡車, a hand-operated spinning device),
Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車, a foot-operated spinning device), and Pi Dai Chuan
Dong Fang Che (皮帶傳動紡車, a belt drive spinning device). The hand-operated
spinning device has been introduced in Sect. 9.4. The other two types are intro-
duced as follows:

11.2.1 Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車, A Foot-Operated


Spinning Device)

Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車, a foot-operated spinning device) is driven by the


operator’s foot instead of hands to rotate the large pulley in the device. Freeing the
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) 255

Fig. 11.8 Imitation illustration of a foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism (Hsiao et al. 2010)

operator’s hands lets the yarn spinning be more efficient and also enhances the
quality of yarns. The foot-operated spinning device has been known under many
different names on a variety of specific books, including Mu Mian Xian Jia (木棉
線架), Xiao Fang Che (小紡車), and Mu Mian Fang Che (木棉紡車) as shown in
Fig. 11.9 (Wang 1991; Sun and Sun 1966). Its function is to twist and combine
silk, cotton threads, or hemp fibers into yarns, and to coil the yarns around the
spindle.
Figure 11.9a shows the foot-operated spinning device in the book Tian Gong
Kai Wu《天工開物》(Sun and Sun 1966). The weaver pedals the treadle to spin a
large pulley, and the power through the thread on the large pulley drives the two
spindles to rotate (Chen 1984; Zhang et al. 2004). By the spinner’s twisting, four
single-strand yarns merge into two double-strand yarns that coil around the
spindles. It basically consists of the frame (member 1 KF), a treadle (member 2,
KTr), a large pulley (member 3, KU), a thread (member 4, KT), and several spindles
(member 5, KS).
Due to the unclear illustrations, there may be a connecting link (member 6, KL)
used for transmitting power from the treadle (Hsiao and Yan 2010) to the large
pulley, making the large pulley rotate. Therefore, the foot-operated spinning
device is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of members and
joints. According to the reconstruction design methodology for ancient mecha-
nisms with uncertain structures, the reconstruction design of the foot-operated
spinning device is presented as follows:
256 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.9 Foot-operated spinning devices. a Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車) (Sun and Sun 1966),
b Mu Mian Xian Jia (木棉線架) (Wang 1991), c Xiao Fang Che (小紡車) (Wang 1991), d Mu
Mian Fang Che (木棉紡車) (Wang 1991)

Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a mechanism with five (members 1–5) or six members (members
1–6).
2. The treadle (KTr) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
an uncertain joint.
3. The treadle (KTr) is connected to the connecting link (KL) or the large
pulley (KU) with an uncertain joint.
4. The large pulley (KU) is a ternary link and connected to the frame (KF)
and the thread (KT) with a revolute joint (JRz) and a wrapping joint
(JW), respectively.
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) 257

5. The spindle (KS) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) and
the thread (KT) with a revolute joint (JRz) and a wrapping joint (JW),
respectively.
Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with five or six members, the corre-
sponding atlas of generalized kinematic chains with five and six members
are shown in Figs. 11.2d–i and Fig. 11.5.
Step 3. There must be at least three binary links as the treadle, the thread, and the
spindle. There must be only one pair of ternary links as the frame and the
large pulley. Therefore, only those three generalized kinematic chains
shown in Fig. 11.2f and Figs. 11.5a, b are qualified for the process of
specialization. All feasible specialized chains are identified as follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a ternary link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary links
that is connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.10a1.
2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.5a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.10a2.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.5b, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.10a3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.10a1–a3.
Treadle (KTr)
Since there must be a binary link as the treadle (KTr) that is connected to the
frame (KF) with an uncertain joint, the treadle is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10a1, the assignment of the treadle and the
uncertain joint generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.10b1 and b2.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10a2, the assignment of the treadle and the
uncertain joint generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.10b3 and b4.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.3a3, the assignment of the treadle and the
uncertain joint generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.10b5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame and treadle are avail-
able as shown in Figs. 11.10b1–b5.
Pulley (KU)
There must be a ternary link as the pulley (KU) and the pulley is connected to
the frame (KF) with a revolute joint (JRz). Therefore, the pulley is identified as
follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10b1, the assignment of the pulley and the
uncertain joint generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.10c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10b2, the assignment of the pulley generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10c2.
258 11 Complex Textile Devices

(a1) (a2) (a3)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4) (b5)

(c1) (c2) (c3) (c4) (c5)

(d1) (d2) (d3) (d4)

(e1) (e2)

Fig. 11.10 Specialization of the foot-operated spinning device

3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10b3, the assignment of the pulley and the
uncertain joint generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.10c3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10b4, the assignment of the pulley generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10c4.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10b5, the assignment of the pulley generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10c5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, and pulley are
available as shown in Figs. 11.10c1–c5.
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) 259

Thread (KT)
There must be a binary link as the thread (KT) that is connected to the pulley
(KU) with a wrapping joint (JW) and is not connected to the frame (KF) or treadle
(KTr). Therefore, the thread is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10c1, the assignment of the thread generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10d1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10c2, no binary link that is neither connected to
the frame nor the treadle can be assigned to the thread.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10c3, the assignment of the thread generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10d2.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10c4, the assignment of the thread generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10d3.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10c5, the assignment of the thread generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10d4.
Therefore, four specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, pulley, and
thread are available, as shown in Figs. 11.10d1–d4.
Spindle and connecting link (KS and KL)
There must be a binary link as the spindle that is connected to the thread (KT)
and the frame (KF) with a wrapping joint (JW) and a revolute joint (JRz), respec-
tively. The remaining link should be the connecting link (KL). Therefore, the
spindle and the connecting link are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10d1, the assignment of the spindle generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.10e1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10d2, no binary link that is connected to the frame
and the thread can be assigned to the spindle.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10d3, no binary link that is connected to the frame
and the thread can be assigned to the spindle.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.10d4, the assignment of the spindle, the con-
necting link, and the uncertain joints generates one result as shown in
Fig. 11.10e2.
Therefore, two specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, pulley, thread,
spindle, and connecting link are available as shown in Figs. 11.10e1 and e2.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.9a. The function of
the foot-operated spinning device is to transfer the oscillating motion of
the treadle to the rotation of the pulley. The uncertain joints may have
multiple types to achieve the equivalent function.
1. Considering uncertain joints J1 and J6, each joint has two possible types and
they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one is a spherical joint
JRxyz, the other one not only rotates about the x and y axes but also translate
Pz
along the z-axis, denoted as JRxy .
260 11 Complex Textile Devices

2. Considering uncertain joint J5, it has four possible types. Firstly, the treadle is
connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. Secondly, the treadle not only
Pz
rotates about the x-axis but also translates along the z-axis, denoted as JRx .
Thirdly, the treadle not only rotates about the x and y axes but also translates
Pz
along the z-axis, denoted as JRxy . Forthly, the treadle is connected to the frame
with a spherical joint JRxyz.
3. Considering uncertain joint J8, it has two possible types: firstly, the connecting
link is connected to the treadle with a revolute joint JRxz; secondly, the con-
necting link is connected to the treadle with a spherical joint JRxyz.
4. Considering uncertain joint J9, it has two possible types: firstly, the connecting
link is connected to the pulley with a revolute joint JRxz; secondly, the con-
necting link is connected to the pulley with a revolute joint JRz.
Pz Pz
By assigning all possible types of uncertain joints J1(JRxyz and JRxy ), J5(JRx, JRx ,
Pz Pz
JRxy and JRxyz), J6(JRxyz and JRxy ), J8(JRxz and JRxyz), and J9(JRxz and JRz) to the
,
specialized chains shown in Figs. 11.10e1 and e2, except some rigid chains, 13
specialized chains with particular joints are obtained as shown in Figs. 11.11a–m.
Step 5. Considering the motions and functions of the mechanism, each specialized
chain with particular joints is particularized to obtain the atlas of feasible
designs that meet the ancient technological standards. Figures 11.12a–m
show the corresponding 3D solid models of the feasible designs. Fig-
ure 11.13 shows an imitation illustration of the foot-operated spinning
device in the book Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》.

11.2.2 Pi Dai Chuan Dong Fang Che (皮帶傳動紡車, Belt


Drive Spinning Devices)

In the Song and Yuan dynasties (AD 960–1368), the most advanced spinning
device is Da Fang Che (大紡車, a large spinning device). This device was first
used for twisting hemp threads, and then used for silk processing. The book Nong
Shu《農書》(Wang 1991) has records about Da Fang Che (大紡車) and Shui
Zhuan Da Fang Che (水轉大紡車, a water-driven spinning device). Both devices
have the same basic structures and are a kind of application of the belt drive, as
shown in Fig. 11.14. Since there are many uncertain portions in the illustration, it
is difficult to identify the actual numbers of its members as well as the combi-
nations and transmission process among the members. Therefore, the belt drive
spinning device is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of
members and joints. Figure 11.15a shows an existing reconstruction concept for
the belt drive spinning device that helps to clarify the structure of this device
(Zhang et al. 2004).
The belt drive spinning device consists of the frame, two pulleys, a belt, several
spindles, a yarn circle with a wooden wheel, and yarns. The driving pulley on the
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) 261

(a) (b) (c) (d)

(e) (f) (g)

(h) (i) (j)

(k) (l) (m)

Fig. 11.11 Atlas of specialized chains with particular joints of the foot-operated spinning device

left side is operated by a person, animal, or water. The power passes through the
belt to spin the yarn circle and the spindles, to complete twisting and coiling the
threads. By its function, the belt drive spinning device can be divided into three
sub-mechanisms: the pulley and belt drive, the spinning and spindle drive, and the
pulley and yarn circle drive. Each mechanism is presented as follows.

Pulley and Belt Drive Mechanism


The pulley and belt drive mechanism consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a
driving pulley (member 2, KU1), a driven pulley (member 3, KU2), and a belt
(member 4, KT1). The driving pulley is connected to the frame with a revolute joint
JRz. The belt is connected to the driving and the driven pulleys with wrapping
joints JW. The driven pulley is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz.
Figure 11.16a shows the structural sketch.
262 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.12 Atlas of feasible designs of the foot-operated spinning device

Spinning and Spindle Drive Mechanism


The spinning and spindle drive mechanism consists of the frame (member 1,
KF), a yarn circle with a wooden wheel (member 5, KS1), several spindles (member
6, KS2), and yarns (member 7, KT2). The yarn circle is connected to the frame with
a revolute joint JRx. The spindle is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz.
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) 263

Fig. 11.13 Imitation illustration of a foot-operated spinning device (Hsiao and Yan 2010)

Fig. 11.14 Belt drive spinning devices. a Human or animal-operated Da Fang Che (大紡車)
(Wang 1991) b Shui Zhuan Da fang Che (水轉大紡車) (Wang 1991)
264 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.15 Reconstruction designs of the belt drive spinning device. a An existing reconstruction
concept (Zhang et al. 2004), b The first reconstruction design, c The second reconstruction design
11.2 Fang Che (紡車, A Spinning Device) 265

Fig. 11.16 Structural sketches of the belt drive spinning device. a Pulley and belt drive,
b Spinning and spindle drive, c Pulley and yarn circle drive, c1 The first reconstruction design,
c2 The second reconstruction design

The yarn is connected to the yarn circle and the spindle with wrapping joints JW.
Figure 11.16b shows the structural sketch.

Pulley and Yarn Circle Drive Mechanism


The relevant data for the pulley and yarn circle drive mechanism is brief. The
existing reconstruction concept for the belt drive spinning device shown in
Fig. 11.15a is not clear as well. Therefore, the pulley and yarn circle drive
mechanism has two possible structures. Each of them is presented as follows.
The first possible structure consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a small pulley
on the same shaft with the driven pulley (member 3, KU2), a yarn circle with a
wooden wheel (member 5, KS1), and a thread (member 8, KT3). On the shaft of the
driven pulley, another extra small pulley is added to coordinate with the wooden
wheel. The small pulley is used to drive the wooden wheel through the thread,
thereby driving the yarn circle. The small pulley is connected to the frame with a
revolute joint JRz. The thread is connected to the small pulley and the wooden
wheel with wrapping joints JW. The wooden wheel is connected to the frame with a
revolute joint JRx. Figure 11.16c1 shows the structural sketch of the first pulley and
yarn circle drive mechanism. Figure 11.15b shows the first reconstruction design.
The second possible structure is based on the existing reconstruction concept,
Fig. 11.15a. It consists of the frame (member 1, KF), a yarn circle with a wooden
wheel (member 5, KS1), a thread (member 8, KT3), and a new added independent
pulley (member 9, KU3). The belt directly rubs the newly added independent
pulley. Through the thread, the yarn circle is driven to spin. The independent
pulley is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz. The thread is connected
to the independent pulley and the wooden wheel with wrapping joints JW. The
wooden wheel is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. Figure 11.16c2
shows the structural sketch of the second pulley and yarn circle drive mechanism.
266 11 Complex Textile Devices

Figure 11.15c shows the second reconstruction design. However, only using the
friction between the belt and the independent pulley, the power seems to be not
enough to drive the yarn circle.

11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom)

Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, a foot-operated slanting loom) is a typical weaving device, in


which links are united with treadles and threads to weave the cloth. The basic
purpose of the weaving device is to hold the warps under tension to facilitate the
interweaving of the wefts. Since this device has been well-developed with broad
applications in ancient China, it was popular and illustrated in many Chinese
literatures with different names, such as Yao Ji (腰機), Bu Ji (布機), and Wo Ji (臥
機), etc., Fig. 11.17 (Wang 1991; Pan 1998).
The weaving process includes four steps: shed forming, shuttle throwing, weft
pressing, and fabric reeling (Chen 1984). The foot-operated slanting loom has
three sub-mechanisms to finish the weaving process including a heddle raising
device, a weft pressing device, and a fabric reeling device. Figure 11.18 shows the
types and the essential parts of the slanting looms (Hsiao et al. 2011). The warps,
the longitudinal yarns, are rolled onto a warp beam. The warps are passed through
the eye holds of the heddles, that hang vertically from the heddle rods. The heddle
rack comprises the upper heddle rod and the lower heddle rod to which a series of
threads, namely heddles, are attached. The weaver pedals the treadle to generate
the rising or falling motion of the heddle rack through the transmission of the scale
link and the threads in the heddle rasing device. When the heddle rack raises or
lowers the heddles, that raises or lowers the warps, the shed is created. The early
heddle raising devices had only the upper heddle rod and the warps were raised by
the heddles directly. The weft yarn is inserted through the shed by a small carrier
tool namely the shuttle. The shuttle is pointed at each end to allow passage through
the shed. A single crossing of the shuttle from one side of the mechanism to the
other is known as a pick. After the shuttle moves across the mechanism, the weft
yarn is laid down and also passes through a reed comb. In each picking operation,
the reed comb presses each weft yarn against the portion of the fabric that has
already been formed in the weft pressing device. With each weaving operation, the
newly constructed fabric must be reeled on the cloth beam in the fabric reeling
device. At the same time, the warps must be released from the warp beam.
Obviously, the members of the fabric reeling device include the frame, a cloth
beam, a warp beam, and a fabric belt. The fabric belt consists of the warps and the
fabric.
Sorted by the numbers of the treadle and the heddle rack, the foot-operated
slanting loom can be classified into the following main four types:
1. Two-treadle single-heddle-rack (TTSH)
Figure 11.18a shows the type of two-treadle single-heddle-rack, denoted as
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom) 267

Fig. 11.17 Foot-operated slanting looms. a Yao Ji (腰機) (Pan 1998), b Bu Ji (布機) (Wang
1991), c Wo Ji (臥機) (Wang 1991)

TTSH. It consists of the frame, two treadles, a heddle rack, a scale link, a reed
comb, a warp beam, a cloth beam, and threads for transmitting motions between
members. In this case, thread 1, the upper heddle rod, the heddles, the lower
heddle rod, and thread 1–1 can be regarded as the same member that is con-
nected to the scale link and treadle 1.
2. Single-treadle single-heddle-rack (STSH)
The type of single-treadle single-heddle-rack has two different kinds, denoted
268 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.18 Types of foot-operated slanting looms (Hsiao et al. 2011), a TTSH, b STSH-1,
c STSH-2, d STHH, e TTTH
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom) 269

as STSH. For the design shown in Fig. 11.18a without thread 2 and treadle 2, it
belongs to the type of STSH-1 as shown in Fig. 11.18b. In the case, thread 1,
the upper heddle rod, the heddles, the lower heddle rod, and thread 1–1 can be
regarded as the same member that is connected to the scale link and treadle 1.
For the design shown in Fig. 11.18a without thread 1–1 and treadle 1, it belongs
to the type of STSH-2 as shown in Fig. 11.18c. In the case, thread 1, the upper
heddle rod, the heddles and the lower heddle rod can be regarded as the same
member that is connected to the scale link and the warps. The warps are fixed
that can be regarded as the frame.
3. Single-treadle half-heddle-rack (STHH)
For the design shown in Fig. 11.18c without the lower heddle rod, it belongs to
the type of single-treadle half-heddle-rack, denoted as STHH as shown in
Fig. 11.18d. In the case, thread 1, the upper heddle rod and the heddles can be
regarded as the same member that is connected to the scale link and the warps.
The warps are fixed that can be regarded as the frame.
4. Two-treadle two-heddle-rack (TTTH).
By adding another heddle rack to thread 2 as shown in Fig. 11.18a, it belongs to
the type of two-treadle two-heddle-rack, denoted as TTTH as shown in
Fig. 11.18e.
According to the function, the foot-operated slanting loom can be divided into
three sub-mechanisms: the heddle raising device, the weft pressing device, and the
fabric reeling device. Each of them is presented as follows:

Heddle Raising Device


The quality of the fabric depends on the shed by the heddle raising device. It
plays an important part in the slanting loom. The simplest type of the heddle raising
device is STSH-1 that comprises four members including the frame, a treadle, a
thread with a heddle rack, and a scale link. The types of STSH-2 and STHH com-
prise five members including the frame, a treadle, a thread, a scale link, and another
thread with a heddle rack or a heddle rod. The TTSH type comprises six members
including the frame, two treadles, a scale link, a thread, and the other thread with a
heddle rack. The TTTH type also comprises six members including the frame, two
treadles, two threads with heddle racks, and a scale link. The structures of the TTSH
and the TTTH types are the same from the viewpoint of mechanisms. Since there are
many uncertain portions in the illustrations, such as the uncertain numbers of the
treadles and the threads, the heddle raising device is a Type III mechanism with
uncertain numbers and types of members and joints. According to the reconstruction
design methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures, the recon-
struction design of heddle raising device is presented as follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar or spatial mechanism with four members (members 1–4),
five members (members 1–5), or six members (members 1–6).
270 11 Complex Textile Devices

2. Treadle 1 (KTr1) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
an uncertain joint.
3. Thread 1 (KT1) is a binary link and connected to the treadle (KTr) and
the scale link (KSL) with thread joints (JT).
4. The scale link (KSL) is connected to the frame (KF) with an uncertain
joint.
5. Thread 2 (KT2) is a binary link and connected to the scale link (KSL)
and treadle 2 (KTr2) with thread joints (JT). For the STSH-2 and STHH
types, one thread is connected to the scale link (KSL) and the frame (KF)
with a thread joint (JT) and a prismatic joint (JPyz), respectively.
6. Treadle 2 (KTr2) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
an uncertain joint.
Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with four, five, or six members, the
corresponding atlas of generalized kinematic chains with four, five, and
six members are shown in Fig. 11.2 and Fig. 11.5.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and the thread. When the
number of members is five, the pair of binary links must be connected to a
ternary link as the scale link. When the number of members is six, there
must be two pairs of binary links as two treadles and two threads.
Therefore, only those three generalized kinematic chains shown in
Figs. 11.2a, f and Fig. 11.5b are qualified for the process of specialization.
All feasible specialized chains are identified as follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a link as the frame (KF) and one or two pairs of binary links
are connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19a1.
2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19a2.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.5b, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19a3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.19a1–a3.
Treadle 1 and thread 1 (KTr1 and KT1)
Since there must be a pair of binary links as treadle 1 and thread 1, and treadle 1
must be connected to the frame (KF) and thread 1(KT1) with an uncertain joint (J1)
and a thread joint (JT), respectively, treadle 1 and thread 1 are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19a1, the assignment of treadle 1, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19a2, the assignment of treadle 1, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19b2.
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom) 271

(a1) (a2) (a3)

(b1) (b2) (b3)

(c1) (c2) (c3)

(d1) (d2)

Fig. 11.19 Specialization of heddle raising device of foot-operated slanting loom

3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19a3, the assignment of treadle 1, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19b3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, treadle 1, and thread 1
are available as shown in Figs. 11.19b1–b3.
272 11 Complex Textile Devices

Scale link (KSL)


Since the scale link must be connected to thread 1 (KT1) and the frame (KF) with
a thread joint (JT) and an uncertain joint (J2), respectively, the scale link is
identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19b1, the assignment of the scale link and
uncertain joint J2 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19b2, the assignment of the scale link and
uncertain joint J2 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19b3, the assignment of the scale link and
uncertain joint J2 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19c3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, treadle 1, thread 1,
and scale link are available as shown in Figs. 11.19c1–c3.
Treadle 2 and thread 2 (KTr2 and KT2)
Since thread 2 (KT2) must be connected to the scale link (KSL) with a thread
joint, and the remaining link is treadle 2 (KTr2), treadle 2 and thread 2 are identified
as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19c2, the assignment of thread 2 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.19d1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.19c3, the assignment of treadle 2, thread 2, and
uncertain joint J3 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.19d2.
Therefore, two specialized chains with identified frame, treadle 1, thread 1,
scale link, thread 2, and treadle 2 are available as shown in Figs. 11.19d1 and d2.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.17a. The function of
the heddle raising device is to generate the rising or falling motion of the
heddle rack through the oscillating motion of the treadle. The uncertain
joints may have multiple types to achieve the equivalent function.
1. Considering uncertain joints J1 and J3, each of them has three possible types:
the first one rotates about the x-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRx;
the second rotates about the z-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRz; the
third translates along the y-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JPy.
2. Considering uncertain joint J2, it has two possible types: the scale link rotates
about the x-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRx; and the scale link
rotates about the z-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRz.
3. When the scale link is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRz, treadle 1
and treadle 2 are not suitable to be connected to the frame with prismatic joints
JPy, due to the arrangement of the treadles.
By assigning all possible types of uncertain joints J1(JRx, JRz, and JPy), J2(JRx
and JRz), and J3(JRx, JRz, and JPy) to the specialized chains as shown in
Figs. 11.19c1, d1, and d2, 19 feasible specialized chains with particular joints are
obtained as shown in Figs. 11.20a–s.
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom) 273

(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

(f) (g) (h) (i) (j)

(k) (l) (m) (n)

(o) (p) (q) (r) (s)

Fig. 11.20 Atlas of specialized chains with particular joints of the heddle raising device

Step 5. Considering the motions and functions of the mechanism, each specialized
chain with particular joints is particularized to obtain the atlas of feasible
designs that meet the ancient technological standards. Figures 11.21a–s
show the corresponding 3D solid models of the feasible designs.

Weft Pressing Device


With each picking operation, the reed comb presses each weft yarn against the
portion of the fabric in the weft pressing device. The simplest type of the weft
pressing device comprises two members including the frame and a reed comb. A
bamboo or a linkage is used in the device to facilitate the pressing. The bamboo
with its elasticity makes the reed comb go back to the original position after
pressing. The members of the device with a bamboo comprise the frame, a reed
comb, and a bamboo. The linkage with weight helps the weaver to press the weft
yarn effectively and comfortably. The members of the device with a linkage
comprise the frame, a reed comb, and one or two connecting links. From the
descriptions and illustrations in the existing literatures, the number of members of
274 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.21 Atlas of feasible designs of the heddle raising device

the weft pressing device is two, three or four and the types of some joints are
uncertain. Therefore, this device is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers
and types of members and joints. According to the reconstruction design meth-
odology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures, the reconstruction
design of the weft pressing device is presented as follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar or spatial mechanism with two members (members 1 and 7),
three members (members 1, 7–8), or four members (members 1, 7–9).
2. The reel comb (KRC) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) or
the bamboo (KBB) with an uncertain joint.
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom) 275

Fig. 11.22 Atlas of (2, 1), (3,


2), and (3, 3) generalized
kinematic chains

3. One bamboo (KBB) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) and
the reel comb (KRC) with a bamboo joint (JBB) and an uncertain joint,
respectively, in generalized kinematic chains with three members only.
4. One connecting link is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF)
with an uncertain joint in a closed chain.
Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with two, three, or four members, the
corresponding atlas of generalized kinematic chains with two, three, and
four members are shown in Figs. 11.2a–c and Fig. 11.22.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the reed comb and the frame or the
reed comb and the bamboo. Therefore, only those four generalized kine-
matic chains shown in Fig. 11.2a and Figs. 11.22a–c are qualified for the
process of specialization. All feasible specialized chains are identified as
follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a link as the frame (KF), the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.22a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23a1.
2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.22b, the assignment of the
frame generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.23a2 and a3.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.22c, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23a4.
4. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23a5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.23a1–a5.
Reed comb (KRC)
Since the reed comb must be connected to the frame (KF) or the bamboo (KBB)
with an uncertain joint, the reed comb is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23a1, the assignment of the reed comb and
uncertain joint J4 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23a2, the assignment of the reed comb and
uncertain joint J5 generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.23b2 and b3.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23a3, the assignment of the reed comb and
uncertain joint J5 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23b4.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23a4, the assignment of the reed comb and
uncertain joint J6 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23b5.
276 11 Complex Textile Devices

(a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) (a5)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4) (b5) (b6)

(c1) (c2) (d1) (d2)

Fig. 11.23 Specialization of the weft pressing device

5. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23a5, the assignment of the reed comb and
uncertain joint J7 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23b6.
Therefore, six specialized chains with identified frame and reel comb are
available as shown in Figs. 11.23b1–b6.
Bamboo (KBB)
Since the bamboo must be connected to the frame (KF) and the reed comb (KRC)
with a bamboo joint (JBB) and an uncertain joint in generalized kinematic chains
with three members, the bamboo is identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23b2, no link that is connected to the frame and
the reed comb can be assigned as the bamboo.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23b3, the assignment of the bamboo generates
one result as shown in Fig. 11.23c1.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23b4, no link that is connected to the frame and
the reed comb can be assigned as the bamboo.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23b5, the assignment of the bamboo and uncertain
joint J8 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23c2.
Therefore, two specialized chains with identified frame, reed comb, and bam-
boo are available as shown in Figs. 11.23c1 and c2.
11.3 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機, A Foot-Operated Slanting Loom) 277

Connecting link 1 and connecting link 2 (KL1 and KL2)


Since connecting link 1 must be connected to the frame (KF) with an uncertain
joint in a closed chain and the remaining link is connecting link 2, connecting link
1 and connecting link 2 are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23b5, the assignment of connecting link 1 and
uncertain joints J9 and J10 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.23d1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.23b6, the assignment of connecting link 1,
connecting link 2, and uncertain joints J11, J12, and J13 generates one result as
shown in Fig. 11.23d2.
Therefore, two specialized chains with identified frame, reed link, bamboo,
connecting link 1, and connecting link 2 are available as shown in Figs. 11.23d1
and d2.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.17a. The function of
the weft pressing device is to operate the reed comb to press the weft yarn
to avoid the loose structure of the textile. The uncertain joints may have
multiple types to achieve the equivalent function. Since the device is
planar, the uncertain joints must be planar joints.
1. Considering uncertain joints J4, J5, J6, and J7, each of them has two
possible types: a revolute joint JRx or a thread joint JT.
2. Considering uncertain joint J8, it has one possible type: the reed comb
is connected to the bamboo with a revolute joint JRx.
3. Considering uncertain joints J9 and J10, each has two possible types
and they can not be the same type simultaneously. When any one is a
revolute joint JRx, the other not only rotates about the x-axis but also
Pz
translates along the z-axis, denoted as JRx .
4. Consider uncertain joints J11, J12, and J13, each has one possible type: it
rotates about the x-axis, denoted as JRx.
By assigning the possible types of uncertain joints J4, J5, J6, and J7(JRx and JT),
Pz
J8 (JRx), J9 and J10(JRx and JRx ), J11, J12, and J13(JRx) to the specialized chains
shown in Figs. 11.23b1, c1, c2, d1, and d2, 12 specialized chains with particular
joints are obtained as shown in Figs. 11.24a–l.
Step 5. Considering the motions and functions of the mechanism, each specialized
chain with particular joints is particularized to obtain the atlas of feasible
designs that meet the ancient technological standards. Figures 11.25a–l
show the corresponding 3D solid models of the feasible designs.
Fabric Reeling Device
The fabric reeling device is designed to keep the warps tight, and collects the
fabric in which warps and wefts are interwoven. It consists of the frame (member
1, KF), a warp beam (member 2, KU1), a cloth beam (member 3, KU2), and a fabric
belt (member 4, KT). The fabric belt includes the warps and the fabric. The warp
beam is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. The fabric belt is
278 11 Complex Textile Devices

J Rx JT
KRC (7) KRC (7) KBB (8) KRC (7) KBB (8) KRC (7)

KF (1) KF (1) J BB KF (1) J BB KF (1)


J Rx JT
(a) (b) (c) (d)

J Rx J Rx J Rx J RxPz

KBB (8) KRC (7) KBB (8) KRC (7) KRC (7)
KL1 (8) KL1 (8) KRC (7)

KF (1) KF (1) KF (1)


J BB J Rx J BB JT J RxPz J Rx J Rx KF (1)
J Rx
(e) (f) (g) (h)

KL 2(9) KL 2(9)
J Rx J Rx J Rx J Rx
J Rx J Pz
Rx

KRC (7) KL ( 8) KRC (7) KL1 (8) KRC (7)


KL1 (8) KL1 (8) KRC (7)

KF (1) KF (1)
J RxPz JT J Rx JT J Rx KF (1)
J Rx J Rx KF (1)
JT
(i) (j) (k) (l)

Fig. 11.24 Atlas of specialized chains with particular joints of the weft pressing device

connected to the warp beam and the cloth beam with wrapping joints JW. The cloth
beam is connected to the frame with a revolute joint JRx. It is a Type I mechanism
with a clear structure. Figure 11.26 shows the structural sketch of the fabric reeling
device.
Figure 11.27 shows an imitation of the original illustration in the book Tian
Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》. Figure 11.28 shows a real object of the type of TTTH
for the foot-operated slanting loom.

11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving)

Ti Hua Ji (提花機, a drawloom for pattern-weaving), also known as Hua Ji (花機),


or Zhi Ji (織機), is a large weaving device that can produce cloth with complex
patterns as shown in Fig. 11.29 (Wang 1991; Pan 1998). The foot-operated
slanting loom, mentioned in Sect. 11.3, only uses the treadles to control the rising
and falling motions of the heddle rack; thereby forming sheds for wefts to pass,
and to produce cloth in which warps and wefts are interwoven. Even though based
on the same principle, the drawloom for pattern-weaving adds several sets of
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 279

Fig. 11.25 Atlas of feasible designs of the weft pressing device

Fig. 11.26 Structural sketch


of the fabric reeling device

mechanisms that let the weavers draw warps and create sheds by their own hands.
This type of mechanism replaces the heddle rack by threads. According to the
required patterns, warps are divided into hundreds or thousands of sets. All the
warps with the same rising and falling motions are combined to form a heddle
group. By drawing the heddle groups and pedaling the treadles, the weavers can
control the shed to produce cloth with elegant patterns. The drawloom for pattern-
280 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.27 Imitation


illustration of the foot-
operated slanting loom
(Hsiao et al. 2011)

weaving needs two weavers to operate it. One weaver sits in the lower side of the
device in charge of the tasks of shuttle throwing, weft pressing, and fabric reeling.
The other weaver sits on the higher side of the device and draws the heddle threads
to control the patterns of weaving cloth (Chen 1984; Zhang et al. 2004; Zhao
2005).
The drawloom for pattern-weaving has an extremely complex structure. It is
over four meters long and contains thousands of parts. Figure 11.30 shows the
essential parts of the device (Hsiao and Yan 2011). By its functions, the drawloom
for pattern-weaving can be divided into five sub-mechanisms: a heddle foot-falling
device, a heddle foot-raising device, a warp hand-raising device, a weft pressing
device, and a fabric reeling device. Each device is presented as follows:

Heddle Foot-Falling Device


The function of the heddle foot-falling device is to pedal the treadles to gen-
erate the falling motion of the heddle rack, through the transmission of the thread
and scale link. The simplest type of the heddle foot-falling device is shown in
Fig. 11.30 that comprises four members including the frame, a treadle, a thread
with a heddle rack, and a scale link. The scale link with weights or the bamboo
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 281

Fig. 11.28 Real object of the foot-operated slanting loom (photoed in Nantong (南通) Textile
Museum in Nanjing (南京))

with elasticity is used to enable the heddle rack to return to the original position
after pedaling.
In order to create complex patterns, it is necessary to increase the heddle foot-
falling device to produce the required motions. However, the arrangement of the
treadles is a problem in operation when increasing the device. In order to solve the
problem, another thread or a set of threads and a scale link are added to the device
to adjust the positions of the treadles. From the descriptions and illustrations in the
existing literature, the heddle foot-falling device is a Type III mechanism with
uncertain numbers and types of members and joints. According to the recon-
struction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures,
the reconstruction design of heddle foot-falling device is presented as follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar or spatial mechanism with four members (members 1–4),
five members (members 1–5), or six members (members 1–6).
282 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.29 Drawlooms for pattern-weaving. a Hua Ji (花機) (Pan 1998), b Zhi Ji (織機) (Wang 1991)
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 283

Fig. 11.30 Essential parts of an ordinary drawloom for pattern-weaving (Hsiao and Yan 2011)

2. The treadle (KTr) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
an uncertain joint.
3. Thread 1 (KT1) is a binary link and connected to the treadle (KTr) and
the scale link (KSL) with thread joints (JT).
4. Scale link 1 (KSL1) is connected to the frame (KF) with an uncertain
joint.
5. Thread 2 (KT2) is a binary link and connected to scale link 1 (KSL1) and
the frame (KF) with a thread joint (JT) and a prismatic joint (JPyz),
respectively.
Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with four, five, or six members, the
corresponding atlas of generalized kinematic chains with four, five, and
six members are shown in Fig. 11.2 and Fig. 11.5.
Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and the thread. When the
number of members is five or six, the pair of binary links must be con-
nected to a ternary link as scale link 1. Therefore, only those three gen-
eralized kinematic chains shown in Figs. 11.2a, f, and Fig. 11.5b are
qualified for the process of specialization. All feasible specialized chains
are identified as follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a link as the frame (KF) and one or two pairs of binary links
are connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
284 11 Complex Textile Devices

(a1) (a2) (a3)

(b1) (b2) (b3)

(c1) (c2) (c3)

(d1) (d2)

Fig. 11.31 Specialization of the heddle foot-falling device

1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2a, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31a1.
2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31a2.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.5b, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31a3.
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 285

Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.31a1–a3.
Treadle and thread 1 (KTr and KT1)
Since there must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and thread 1, and the treadle
must be connected to the frame (KF) and thread 1(KT1) with an uncertain joint (J1) and
a thread joint (JT), respectively, the treadle and thread 1 are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31a1, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31a2, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31b2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31a3, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J1 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31b3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, and thread 1
are available as shown in Figs. 11.31b1–b3.
Scale link 1 (KSL1)
Since scale link 1 must be connected to thread 1 (KT1) and the frame (KF) with a
thread joint (JT) and an uncertain joint (J2), respectively, scale link 1 is identified
as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31b1, the assignment of scale link 1 and uncertain
joint J2 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31b2, the assignment of scale link 1 and uncertain
joint J2 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31b3, the assignment of scale link 1 and uncertain
joint J2 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31c3.
Therefore, three specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, thread 1, and
scale link 1 are available as shown in Figs. 11.31c1–c3.
Thread 2 and scale link 2 (KT2 and KSL2)
Since thread 2 (KT2) must be connected to scale link 1 (KSL1) with a thread joint
(JT), and the remaining link is scale link 2 (KSL2), thread 2 and scale link 2 are
identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31c2, the assignment of thread 2 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.31d1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.31c3, the assignment of thread 2, scale link 2, and
uncertain joint J3 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.31d2.
Therefore, two specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, thread 1, scale
link 1, thread 2, and scale link 2 are available as shown in Figs. 11.31d1 and d2.
Step 4. The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.29a. The function of
the heddle foot-falling device is to generate the falling motion of the
heddle rack through the oscillating motion of the treadle. The uncertain
joints may have multiple types to achieve the equivalent function.
286 11 Complex Textile Devices

1. Considering uncertain joint J1, it has two possible types: the first one rotates
about the x-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRx; the second rotates
about the z-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRz.
2. Considering uncertain joints J2 and J3, each of them has two possible types: the
first one rotates about the z-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRz; the
second is connected to the frame with a bamboo joint, denoted as JBB.
By assigning all possible types of uncertain joints J1(JRx and JRz), J2(JRz and
JBB), and J3(JRz and JBB) to the specialized chains shown in Figs. 11.31c1, d1, and
d2, 16 feasible specialized chains with particular joints are obtained as shown in
Figs. 11.32a–p.

(a) (b) (c) (d)

(e) (f) (g) (h)

(i) (j) (k) (l)

(m) (n) (o) (p)

Fig. 11.32 Atlas of specialized chains with particular joints of the heddle foot-falling device
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 287

Step 5. Considering the motions and functions of the mechanism, each specialized
chain with particular joints is particularized to obtain the atlas of feasible
designs that meet the ancient technological standards. Figures 11.33a–p
show the corresponding 3D solid models of the feasible designs.

Heddle Foot-raising Device


The function of the heddle foot-raising device is to pedal the treadle to generate
the raising motion of the heddle rack through the transmissions of the thread and
the scale link. The simplest type of the heddle foot-raising device is shown in
Fig. 11.30 that comprises five members, including the frame, a treadle, a thread 1,
a scale link and a thread 2 with the heddle rack.
When weaving a complex pattern, it is necessary to increase the heddle foot-
raising device to match the pattern. However, the arrangement of the treadle is a
problem in operation when increasing the device. In order to solve the problem, a
binary link as the thread and a multiple link as the scale link are added to the
device to adjust the position of the treadle. From the descriptions and illustrations
in the existing literature, the numbers of members of the heddle foot-raising device
is five or seven and the types of some joints are uncertain. Therefore, the heddle
foot-raising device is a Type III mechanism with uncertain numbers and types of
members and joints. According to the reconstruction design methodology for
ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures, the reconstruction design of the
heddle foot-raising device is presented as follows:
Step 1. Study the historical archives and analyze the structural characteristics as
follows:
1. It is a planar or spatial mechanism with five members (members 1–5)
or seven members (members 1–7).
2. The treadle (KTr) is a binary link and connected to the frame (KF) with
an uncertain joint.
3. Thread 1 (KT1) is a binary link and connected to the treadle (KTr) and
scale link 1 (KSL1) with thread joints (JT).
4. Scale link 1 (KSL1) is connected to the frame (KF) with a revolute joint
(JRz).
5. When the thread has the heddle rack, it is connected to the scale link
(KSL) and the frame (KF) with a thread joint (JT) and a prismatic joint
(JPyz), respectively. On the other hand, when the thread without the
heddle rack, it is connected to the scale link and the frame with thread
joints.
288 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.33 Atlas of feasible designs of the heddle foot-falling device


11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 289

(a)

(a1) (a2) (a3) (a4)

(b)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4) (b5)

(b6) (b7) (b8) (b9) (b10)

(b11) (b12) (b13) (b14) (b15)

(b16) (b17) (b18) (b19) (b20)


Fig. 11.34 Atlas of (7, 8) and (7, 9) generalized kinematic chain. a Atlas of (7, 8) generalized
kinematic chain, b Atlas of (7, 9) generalized kinematic chain

Step 2. Since this device is a mechanism with five or seven members, the cor-
responding atlas of generalized kinematic chains with five and seven
members are shown in Figs. 11.2d–i and Fig. 11.34.
290 11 Complex Textile Devices

Step 3. There must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and thread 1 that are
connected to two multiple links as the frame and scale link 1. In addition,
scale link 1 must be connected to the frame. When the number of mem-
bers is seven, there must be four binary links, including a pair of binary
links and two disconnected binary links. Therefore, only those three
generalized kinematic chains shown in Fig. 11.2f and Figs. 11.34b5–b6 are
qualified for the process of specialization. All possible specialized chains
are identified as follows:
Frame (KF)
Since there must be a link as the frame (KF) and a pair of binary links is
connected to the frame, the frame is identified as follows:
1. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.2f, the assignment of the
frame generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35a1.

(a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) (a5)

(b1) (b2) (b3) (b4) (b5)

(c1) (c2) (c3) (c4) (c5)

(d1) (d2) (d3) (d4) (d5)

Fig. 11.35 Specialization of the heddle foot-raising device


11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 291

2. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.34b5, the assignment of
the frame generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.35a2 and a3.
3. For the generalized kinematic chain shown in Fig. 11.34b6, the assignment of
the frame generates two results as shown in Figs. 11.35a4 and a5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame are available as shown
in Figs. 11.35a1–a5.
Treadle and thread 1 (KTr and KT1)
Since there must be a pair of binary links as the treadle and thread 1, and the treadle
must be connected to the frame (KF) and thread 1(KT1) with an uncertain joint (J4) and
a thread joint (JT), respectively, the treadle and thread 1 are identified as follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35a1, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J4 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35b1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35a2, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J4 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35b2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35a3, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J4 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35b3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35a4, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J4 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35b4.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35a5, the assignment of the treadle, thread 1, and
uncertain joint J4 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35b5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with the identified frame, treadle, and thread
1 are available as shown in Figs. 11.35b1–b5.
Scale link 1 (KSL1)
Since scale link 1 must be connected to thread 1 (KT1) and the frame (KF) with a
thread joint (JT) and a revolute joint (JRz), respectively, scale link 1 is identified as
follows:
1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35b1, the assignment of scale link 1 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.35c1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35b2, the assignment of scale link 1 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.35c2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35b3, the assignment of scale link 1 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.35c3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35b4, the assignment of scale link 1 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.35c4.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35b5, the assignment of scale link 1 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.35c5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, thread 1, and
scale link 1 are available as shown in Figs. 11.35c1–c5.
Thread 2, scale link 2, and thread 3 (KT2, KSL2, and KT3)
Since there must be a binary link as thread 2 (KT2) and connected to scale link 2
(KSL2) with a thread joint (JT) and the remaining link is thread 3 (KT3), thread 2,
scale link 2 and thread 3 are identified as follows:
292 11 Complex Textile Devices

1. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35c1, the assignment of thread 2 generates one
result as shown in Fig. 11.35d1.
2. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35c2, the assignment of thread 2, scale link 2, and
thread 3 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35d2.
3. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35c3, the assignment of thread 2, scale link 2, and
thread 3 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35d3.
4. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35c4, the assignment of thread 2, scale link 2, and
thread 3 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35d4.
5. For the case shown in Fig. 11.35c5, the assignment of thread 2, scale link 2, and
thread 3 generates one result as shown in Fig. 11.35d5.
Therefore, five specialized chains with identified frame, treadle, thread 1, scale
link 1, thread 2, scale link 2, and thread 3 are available as shown in Figs. 11.35d1–d5.
Step 4 The coordinate system is defined as shown in Fig. 11.29a. The function of
the heddle foot-raising device is to generate the raising motion of the
heddle rack through the oscillating motion of the treadle. The uncertain
joint may have multiple types to achieve the equivalent function. Con-
sidering uncertain joint J4, it has two possible types: the first one rotates
about the x-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRx; and the second
rotates about the z-axis with respect to the frame, denoted as JRz. By
assigning all possible types of uncertain joint J4(JRx and JRz) to the spe-
cialized chains shown in Figs. 11.35d1–d5, 10 specialized chains with
particular joints are obtained as shown in Figs. 11.36a-j.
Step 5 Removing those cases with rigid chains in Figs. 11.36c and h, eight fea-
sible specialized chains with particular joints are available as shown in
Figs. 11.36a, b, d–g, i, and j. Considering the motions and functions of the
mechanism, each specialized chain with particular joints is particularized
to obtain the atlas of feasible designs that meet the ancient technological
standards. Figures 11.37a–h show the corresponding 3D solid models of
the feasible designs.

Fig. 11.36 Atlas of specialized chains with particular joints of the heddle foot-raising device
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 293

Fig. 11.37 Atlas of feasible designs of the heddle foot-raising device

Warp Hand-raising Device


The function of the warp hand-raising device is to raise warps by hand to create
sheds for special patterns. Each warp passes through a loop made in a string
arranged in a vertical plane. The heddles connect to the loops and are arranged in
separate groups. According to the required patterns, the heddles that have the same
raising and falling motions are combined together to form hundreds or thousands
heddle groups. The weaver in the higher position draws the heddle groups in
sequence to coordinate with the other weaver for the tasks, such as shuttle
throwing and weft passing. The warp hand-raising device consists of the frame
(member 1, KF) and several sets of heddle groups (member 2, KHT). The heddle
group is connected to the frame and the warp with a thread joint (JT) and a
prismatic joint (JPyz), respectively. It is a Type I mechanism with a clear structure.
Figure 11.38 shows the structural sketch. The warps are fixed and can be regarded
as a part of the frame.

Weft Pressing Device


The function of the weft pressing device is to press the weft to be part of the
cloth. There are many types of the weft pressing devices as described in Sect. 11.3.
However, the fabric made by the drawloom for pattern-weaving is more complex
294 11 Complex Textile Devices

Fig. 11.38 Structural sketch


of the warp hand-raising
device

Fig. 11.39 Imitation


illustration of a drawloom for
pattern-weaving (Hsiao and
Yan 2011)

than the ones by other weaving devices. In order to produce delicate patterns, the
wefts need to be pressed much tighter. In this situation, the weft pressing device
usually consists of the frame, a weight link, a connecting link, and a reed comb as
shown in Fig. 11.25k. The linkage with weight helps the weaver to press the weft
effectively and comfortably.

Fabric Reeling Device


The function of the fabric reeling device is to keep the warps tight and collect
the fabric in which warps and wefts are interwoven. The fabric reeling device in
the drawloom for pattern-weaving consists of four members and four joints, the
same as the one in the foot-operated slanting loom in Sect. 11.3. Figure 11.26
shows the structural sketch of the fabric reeling device.
11.4 Ti Hua Ji (提花機, A Drawloom for Pattern-Weaving) 295

Fig. 11.40 Real object of


drawloom for pattern-
weaving (photoed in Nantong
(南通) Textile Museum in
Nanjing (南京))

As a result, Fig. 11.39 shows an imitation of the original illustration in the book
Tian Gong Kai Wu《天工開物》. Figure 11.40 shows a real object of the draw-
loom for pattern-weaving.

11.5 Summary

Ancient Chinese textile devices use rigid links and flexible members extensively.
Through the transmission of links, a variety of types of motions have been gen-
erated and applied into different textile processes. Since the textile devices
described in this chapter are an application with different mechanical members, the
devices are divided by functions into several sub-mechanisms. Then, according to
the degree of the clarity, the structures of devices are analyzed and synthesized.
This chapter analyzes five textile devices (Shao Che, Jiao Ta Fang Che, Pi Dai
Chuan Dong Fang Che, Xie Zhi Ji, Ti Hua Ji) in the ancient books described in
Chap .2, as listed in Table 11.1. All of them are classified as Type III mechanisms
with uncertain numbers and types of members and joints. There are a total of 12
original illustrations, five structural sketches, 10 simulation illustrations, four
imitation illustrations, and two real objects described in this chapter. Furthermore,
the textile devices mainly use humans as the power sources, except for Shui Zhuan
Da Fang Che (水轉大紡車, a water-driven spinning device) which uses water.
Based on the reconstruction design methodology for ancient mechanisms with
uncertain structures, all feasible designs of the complex textile devices are
obtained.
Table 11.1 Complex textile devices (five items)
296

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Sao Che Can Sao Nai Fu Can Sang Can Shi
(繅車) 《蠶繅》 《乃服》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Fig. 11.1
Type III
Jiao Ta Fang Che Kuang Xu Nai Fu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(腳踏紡車) 《纊絮》 《乃服》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Mu Mian Xian Jia Ma Zhu
(木棉線架) 《 麻苧》
Xia Fang Che
(小紡車)
Mu Mian Fang Che
(木棉紡車)
Fig. 11.9
Type III
Pi Dai Chuan Dong Fang Che Ma Zhu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
(皮帶傳動紡車) 《麻苧》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Da Fang Che Li Yong Shui Li
(大紡車) 《利用》 《水利》
11

Shui Zhuan Da
Fang Che (水轉大紡車)
Fig. 11.14
Type III
(continued)
Complex Textile Devices
Table 11.1 (continued)
11.5

Mechanism names Books


Nong Shu Wu Bei Zhi Tian Gong Kai Wu Nong Zheng Quan Shu Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao
《農書》 《武備志》 《天工開物》 《農政全書》 《欽定授時通考》
Summary

Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機) Ma Zhu Nai Fu Can Sang Guang Lei Sang Yu
Yao Ji (腰機) 《麻苧》 《乃服》 《蠶桑廣類》 《桑餘》
Bu Ji (布機) Zhi Ren
Wo Ji (臥機) 《織絍》
Fig. 11.17
Type III
Ti Hua Ji (提花機) Zhi Ren Nai Fu Can Sang Can Shi
Hua Ji (花機) 《織絍》 《乃服》 《蠶桑》 《蠶事》
Zhi Ji (織機)
Fig. 11.29
Type III
297
298 11 Complex Textile Devices

References

Pan JX (1998) Annotation of Tian Gong Kai Wu (in Chinese), Shanghai Ancient Books
Publishing House, Shanghai. 《天工開物譯注》;宋應星[明朝]撰,潘吉星譯注,上海古籍出
版社,上海,1998年。
Chen WJ (1984) Chinese textile science and technology history (ancient part). Science Press,
Beijing (in Chinese). 陳維稷,中國紡織科學技術史(古代部分),科學出版社,北京,1984年。
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2010) Structural Identification of the uncertain joints in the drawings of Tain
Gong Kai Wu. J Chinese Soc Mech Eng, Taipei 31(5):383–392
Hsiao KH, Yan HS (2011) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese drawloom for pattern-weaving.
Trans Canadian Soc Mech Eng 35(2):291–308
Hsiao KH, Chen YH, Yan HS (2010) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese foot-operated silk-
reeling mechanism. Front Mech Eng China 5(3):279–288
Hsiao KH, Chen YH, Tsai PY, Yan HS (2011) Structural synthesis of ancient Chinese foot-
operated slanting loom. Proc Inst Mech Eng, Part C, J Mech Eng Sci 225:2685–2699
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1991) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing.
《農書》;王禎[元朝]撰,中華書局,北京,1991年。
Wang Z (Yuan Dynasty) (1969) Nong Shu (in Chinese). Yi Wen Publishing House. 《農書》;王
禎[元朝]撰,收錄於百部叢書集成(嚴一萍主編),藝文出版社,1969年。
Jia SX (Late Wei Dynasty) (1968) Qi Min Yao Shu (in Chinese). Taiwan Commercial Press,
Taipei. 《齊民要術》;賈思勰[宋朝]撰,台灣商務印書館,台北,1968年。
Sun EZ, Sun SC (1966) Chinese technology in the seventeenth century. Dover Publications,
New York
Zhang CH, You ZH, Wu ZZ, Liu YL (2004) History of Inventions in Chinese mechanical
engineering. 2nd edn. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing (in Chinese). 張春輝、游戰洪、吳
宗澤、劉元諒,中國機械工程發明史 - 第二編,清華大學出版社,北京,2004年。
Zhao F (2005) A history of chinese silk art. Cultural Relics Publishing House, Beijing (in
Chinese). 趙豐,中國絲綢藝術史,文物出版社,北京,2005年。
Index

A Cocoon boiling device, 207


Adjacency, 33 Colliding wagon, 123
Agricultural device, 169 Connected chain, 49
Ancient Chinese device for drawing parallel Constrained motion, 52
lines, 65 Cotton drawing device, 213
Ancient Chinese mill, 57 Cotton loosening device, 208
Animal-driven grinder, 113 Cottonseed removing device, 129, 208
Animal-driven mill, 33, 53, 74 Cow-driven paddle blade machine, 75, 176
Animal-driven roller, 151 Cow-driven roller, 151
Archimedean screw, 38, 116 Cow-driven well-drilling rope drive, 200
Crossbow, 55, 219, 224, 230
Cutting device, 140
B Cylinder wheel, 116
Ballista wagon, 123 Cylindrical joint, 45
Bamboo joint, 47
Belt, 39
Belt drive spinning device, 260 D
Binary link, 36 Da Che (大車), 110
Bo Che (紴車), 130 Degrees of constraint, 53
Bridge-link, 50 Degrees of freedom, 40, 57
Device used to draw water from water wells,
83
C Digging wagon, 121
Cam, 38 Disconnected chain, 49
Cam joint, 41 Donkey-driven cylinder wheel, 175
Cam mechanism, 69 Donkey-driven mill, 192
Cane crushing device, 169 Drawloom for pattern-weaving, 278
Cao Dui (槽碓), 138 Drill device, 66
Chain (a link-chain), 49 Dun Che (砘車), 109
Chain (a mechanical member), 39
Chain conveyor water lifting device, 199
Chain drive, 80 F
Chao Che (巢車), 118 Feng Che Shan (風車扇), 100, 111
Chu State repeating crossbow, 219, 230 Feng Xiang (風箱), 155
Closed chain, 49 Feng Zhuan Fan Che (風轉翻車), 177

K.-H. Hsiao and H.-S. Yan, Mechanisms in Ancient Chinese Books with Illustrations, 299
History of Mechanism and Machine Science 23, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-02009-9,
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
300 Index

Fen Wen Che (轒轀車), 121 J


Flail, 140 Jiao Ta Fan Che (腳踏翻車), 35, 195
Flexible connecting mechanism, 77, 191 Jiao Ta Fang Che (腳踏紡車), 254
Flour bolter, 153 Jie Chi (界尺), 65, 95
Frame, 34 Jie Gao (桔槔), 63, 143
Follower, 38 Jin Che (井車), 83
Foot-operated paddle blade machine, 35, 96, Jing Jia (經架), 212
195 Joint, 40
Foot-operated pestle, 138
Foot-operated silk-reeling mechanism, 243
Foot-operated slanting loom, 266 K
Foot-operated spinning device, 254 Kinematic chain, 50
Kinematic sketch, 48

G
Gan Mian Che (趕棉車), 208 L
Gao Zhuan Tong Che (高轉筒車), 195 Lang Ya Pai (狼牙拍), 126
Gear, 38 Large spinning device, 260
Gear joint, 41 Lei (檑), 126
Gear mechanism, 72 Lever, 137
Gear train, 72 Lian Er Shui Mo (連二水磨), 171
Generalization, 94 Lian Jia (連枷), 140
Generalized joint, 50 Lian Mo (連磨), 171
Generalized kinematic chain, 49, 50, 94 Li Lun Shi Shui Pai (立輪式水排), 182
Generalized link, 50 Linen spinning device, 130, 206
Grain processing device, 111, 149, 191 Link, 36
Gua Che (刮車), 115 Linkage mechanism, 63
Gun Nian (輥碾), 151 Link chain, 49
Gun Shi (滾石), 114 Lin Wen Calabash Pot (鱗聞瓠壺), 80
Gun Zhou (輥軸), 109 Liu Zhe (磟碡), 109
Li Ze (礰礋), 109
Long, 152
H Long Wei (龍尾), 116
Handiwork device, 200 Lu Lu (轆轤), 193
Hand-operated paddle blade machine, 194 Lv Long (驢礱), 192
Hand-operated spinning device, 210 Lv Zhuan Tong Che (驢轉筒車), 175
Hao Qiao (壕橋), 120
Harvest and transportation device, 110
He Gua Da Che (合掛大車), 110 M
Heng Sheng (恒升), 147 Machine, 34
He Yin (鶴飲), 143 Mai Long (麥籠), 110
Hong Xi (虹吸), 144 Mao Yuan-yi (茅元儀), 21, 23
Human pulleying device, 200 Mechanical member, 35
Huo Zi Ban Yun Lun (活字板韻輪), 127 Mechanism, 33
Mechanism structure, 33
Mian Luo (麫羅), 153
I Mo (礳), 113
Investigating wagon, 118 Moat bridge, 120
Iron roller, 100, 162 Mo Chuang (磨床), 202
Index 301

Multiple generalized joint, 50 Rolling Stone, 114


Multiple grinder, 171 Rope, 39
Mu Man (木幔), 126 Rope drive, 76
Mu Mian Jiao Che (木棉攪車), 129 Rope drive grinding device, 202
Mu Mian Kuang Chuang (木棉軠床), 213 Ru Shui/ Ru Jing (入水、入井), 200

N S
Nan Fang Du Tui Che (南方獨推車), 110 Sang Jia (桑夾), 140
Niu Nian (牛碾), 151 Schematic representation, 48
Niu Zhuan Fan Che (牛轉翻車), 176 Scrape wheel, 115
Number synthesis, 50 Screw, 38
Nong Shu (農書), 9 Screw joint, 45
Nong Zheng Quan Shu (農政全書), 27 Separated link, 49
Shadoof, 63, 143
Shai Gu (篩殼), 191
O Sao Che (繅車), 243
Oil pressing device, 203 Shield wagon, 126
Open chain, 50 Shi Nian (石碾), 149
Original crossbow, 219, 224 Shi Tuo (石陀), 109
Ortai (鄂爾泰), 29 Shou Dong Fan Che (手動翻車), 194
Shou Yao Fang Che (手搖紡車), 210
Shuang Qian Du Lun Che (雙遣獨輪車), 111
P Shui Dui (水碓), 182
Paddle blade machine, 35, 80 Shui Ji Mian Luo (水擊麫羅), 159
Pairing element, 40 Shui Long (水礱), 98, 173
Pan Che (蟠車), 206 Shui Mo (水磨), 111, 171
Pao Che (砲車), 123 Shui Nian (水碾), 151
Pestle device, 138 Shui Zhuan Da Fang Che (水轉大紡車), 260
Pi Dai Chuan Dong Fang Che (皮帶傳動紡 Shui Zhuan Fan Che (水轉翻車), 177
車), 260 Shui Zhuan Gao Che (水轉高車), 199
Pin joint, 45 Shui Zhuan Lian Mo (水轉連磨), 173
Planar mechanism, 33, 53 Si (鐁), 140
Pottery making device, 130 Silk drawing device, 212
Prismatic joint, 41 Simple generalized joint, 50
Pulley block, 193 Singular link, 36
Pumping Tube, 144 Skeleton, 48
Sky ladder, 80, 85
Slider, 36
Q Small stone roller, 114
Qin Ding Shou Shi Tong Kao (欽定授時通 Soil preparation device, 109
考), 29 Song Ying-xing (宋應星), 24, 26
Quan Heng (權衡), 142 Spatial mechanism, 34, 57
Quaternary link, 50 Specialization, 95
Specialized chain, 95
Specialized chains with particular joint, 96
R Spherical joint, 45
Reconstruction design methodology, 93 Spinning device, 79
Revolute joint, 41 Spring, 39
Rigid chain, 50 Sprocket, 39
Roller, 37 Structural sketch, 47
Rolling joint, 41 Su Song’s clock tower , 67
302 Index

T Water-driven roller, 151


Ta Dui (踏碓), 138 Water-driven two-grinder, 171
Tan Mian (彈棉), 208 Water-driven wind box, 156, 182
Tao Che (陶車), 130 Water lifting device, 114, 143, 175, 193
Teeth, 72 Water wheel lever escapement mechanism, 67
Ternary link, 36 Weaving mechanism, 79
Thread, 39 Wei Che (緯車), 210
Thread joint, 47 Weighing balance, 142
Thrower, 126 Wind box, 155
Tian Gong Kai Wu (天工開物), 24 Wind-driven paddle blade machine, 177
Tian Ti (天梯), 85 Winnowing device, 100, 111, 120, 154
Tie Nian Cao (鐵碾槽), 100, 162 Wo Lun Shi Shui Pai (臥輪式水排), 156
Ti Hua Ji (提花機), 278 Wooden shield wagon, 34, 57, 126
Tong Che (筒車), 116 Wrapping joint, 45
Topological structure, 33 Wu Bei Zhi (武備志), 21
Tower ladder wagon, 122
Tui Lian (推鐮), 110
Trigger mechanism, 55, 70, 220 X
Type keeping wheel, 127 Xiao Nian (小碾), 114
Type of contact, 40 Xia Ze Che (下澤車), 110
Type of joints, 41 Xie Zhi Ji (斜織機), 266
Type of motion, 40 Xin Yi Xiang Fa Yao (新儀象法要), 67
Xu Che (絮車), 207
Xu Guang-qi (徐光啟), 27, 28
U
Upper balancing mechanism, 69, 96
Y
Yang Feng Che (揚風車), 120
W Yang Shan (颶扇), 100, 111, 154
Walk, 49 Yu Heng (玉衡), 148
Wang Lo Che (望樓車), 120 Yun Ti (雲梯), 122
Wang Zhen (王禎), 9, 20
War weapon, 118
Water-driven chain conveyor water lifting Z
device, 193 Zao Jing (鑿井), 200
Water-driven flour bolter, 159 Zha You Ji (榨油機), 203
Water-driven grinder, 74, 113, 171 Zha Zhe Ji (榨蔗機), 169
Water-driven mill, 74, 98, 173 Zhuang Che (撞車), 123
Water-driven multiple grinder, 173 Zhuge repeating crossbow, 219, 235
Water-driven paddle blade machine, 177
Water-driven pestle, 71, 138, 182