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Lesson Objective: In this lesson, we will learn about the bearing connection.

A bearing connection is kind of a mix between a ball joint and a slider. It has 1 translational degree of
freedom, and 3 rotational degrees of freedom. Do not confuse this with a typical ball bearing assembly,
although each individual ball in that assembly might behave in this way.

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There are very few real-world examples that come to mind when you think of this connection type. In most
cases where a ball joint may be used, there are other components and connections that can provide for
translational degrees of freedom.

You could use bearing connections to simulate in one object what multiple objects might accomplish when
combined together.

Because of this, we will demonstrate how to set up a bearing connection with two components in an
assembly that do not represent an actual object.

Open up the assembly entitled Bearing_Connection.asm. It consists of a single component, shown below.

Assemble in the Bearing_Slide.prt component. Be sure to turn on the display of datum axes and datum
points. In the placement window, click on Connect, and then select a Bearing connection type. The
placement window looks like the following.

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This window is a little misleading. The only thing is says for references is “Point Alignment”. This looks like
you would align a datum point or vertex to another datum point or vertex. In actuality, you align a datum
point or vertex to a datum axis, curve or edge.

In this case, we will pick on the BEARING_POINT datum point and the BEARING_AXIS axis, as shown in
the following figure.

When we do this, the point snaps over to the axis. Click on OK to complete this assembly, and then go to
Applications, Mechanism. We can see the symbol for a bearing connection looks like the one for a
cylinder, except it only has a single straight arrow.

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Click on the Drag tool and pick on the small sphere at the end of the Bearing_Slide component. You will
see that as you drag the component, the large sphere stays on the track (follows the axis), but the end is
free to rotate in all directions, centered on the datum point.

Close this assembly when you are done dragging.

Unlike the Ball connection, you can create a servo motor for the translational component of the Bearing

Again, the ability to control any rotation for this component would have to be done by connecting it up to
another component that provides this motion. If you remember from the Planar exercise, we have the ability
to set up motors on a variety of components to control motion, but we want to limit the number of motors to
components that will directly carry out our motion.

In the case of a Bearing or Ball, you will have to rely on other components to provide rotational motion.

A Bearing connection has four degrees of freedom – 1 translational and 3 rotational. You can control the
translational joint axis settings and create servo motors for this translation. Rotational degrees of freedom
can not be controlled directly.

There are no exercises for this lesson.

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