Books on Mechanical joints for ID

Hey all, do you guys have any good books on mechanical joints, manufacturing techniques to recommend? All these with respect to the Industrial Design profession.

Many thanks! :slight_smile:


This a pretty broad subject you’ve touched on, with a whole bunch of variables, covering everything from how a kitchen drawer is assembled, to roof trusts, to the manipulator arm on the space shuttle. I would venture to say that a knowledge of joints is innately connected (pun intended) with the industrial design “Profession” by virtue of the fact that most products consist of more than one part, and have to be assembled.

There are literally thousands of combinations of materials and joints, so once you’ve determined what it is you are trying to accomplish, and other factors that are required to fulfill the “design”, it’s a relatively simple proccess of elimination.

Some things to consider (not necessarily in this order, nor limited to) that will help you identify solutions, eliminate those that do not apply, and help you determine how the joint will be assembled. i.e., welded, brazed, soldered, bolted, screwed, riveted, bonded (adhesive), snap-together, etc.

  • Durability. i.e. Will the product provide single-use, or will the purchaser expect to use it for a lifetime? Will it function in the home, or will it have to endure outdoor exposure? High/Low temperatures? Ultra Violet exposure? Marine environment? Etc.

  • Materials. i.e. What material (generally speaking; metal, wood, plastic, fabric) or combination of materials, ares needed in “the design”? On a “materials” note; there is a universally desired material known as, “Unobtainium”; if you manage to find some, share your source with the rest of us …

  • Assembly restrictions. i.e. Does the joint need to be taken apart occasionally, frequently, or is it a permanent fixture (like welding)?

  • Determinine the “direction”. i.e. Does the joint simply hinge (bend) or does it need to rotate, or slide? If it does, what are the number of degrees (axes) of rotation are required? Only bending would be one axis. i.e. Bending and rotating would be two. Etc.

  • Cost. Does the budget allow for fasteners? is a good source for information. Read through this article and be sure to take the time to explore the the various links (no pun intended). It covers, and provides illustrations, of typical “joints” used in machines. Linkage (mechanical) - Wikipedia

A valuable sourse of books to anyone designing for manufacture, be they engineers, architects, or industrial designers; price is relative to what you’ll benefit from them. is always a good place to find them “used”.

Two favorites that appeal to my “right brain”.

Illustrated Sourcebook of Mechanical Components
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Copyright / Pub. Date: © 2000
ISBN: 0-07-048617-4
Electronic ISBN: 1-59124-102-2
Author/Editor: Edited by: Parmley, R.O.

(this one is big bang for the bucks)
Mechanisms and Mechancial Devices Sourcebook (3rd Edition)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Copyright / Pub. Date: © 2001
Author/Editor: Neil Sclater and Nicholas R. Chironis

Two favorites for when the technical “knitty-gritty” is important:

Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook (2nd Edition) (2,300+ pages)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Copyright / Pub. Date: © 1998
ISBN: 0-471-13007-9
Electronic ISBN: 1-59124-372-6
Author/Editor: Edited by: Kutz, Myer

Marks’ Standard Handbook For Mechanical Engineers (1,500+ pages)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Copyright / Pub. Date: © 1996
ISBN: 0-07-004997-1
Electronic ISBN: 1-59124-120-0
Author/Editor: Edited by: Avallone, E.A.; Baumeister, T., III
new: usually around $199.95

Finally, don’t forget your own imagination. Imagining is where all of this stuff came from to begin with.

Thanks for the detailed advice Lmo! You have been most helpful :slight_smile:

Hope I can get more information from you guys! Anything would be great :slight_smile: