Cam and Follower | Definition and Types Explained with Images

By | September 5, 2018

In this article we will learn following things about Cam and Follower

  • What is a Cam and its types
  • What is a follower and its types

Definition of Cam

A cam is a mechanical member used to impart desired motion to follower by direct contact

Cam and follower combination belongs to the category of higher pairs.

Also read

Necessary members of cam and follower mechanism are

  1. A driver member known as cam
  2. A driven member known as follower
  3. A frame which supports the cam and guides the follower

Types of Cams

Cams can be classified according to

  1. Shape
  2. Follower movement
  3. Manner of constraint of the follower

Classifications of Cams according to shape

  • Wedge and flat cams

Wedge and flat cams

  • Radial or disc cams

Radial or disc cams

  • Spiral cams

Spiral cams

  • Cylindrical cams

Cylindrical cams

  • Conjugate cams

Conjugate cams

  • Globoidal cams

Globoidal cams

Image source

  • Spherical cams

Spherical cam

Classifications of Cams according to follower movement

  • Rise return rise

  • Dwell rise return dwell

  • Dwell rise dwell return dwell

Classifications of Cams according to constraint of the follower

  • Preloaded spring cams

  • Positive drive cams

  • Gravity cam

Types of followers

Cam followers can be classified according to

  1. Shape
  2. Movement and
  3. Location of line of movement

Classifications of followers according to shape

Types of Cam Followers

Image source

  • Knife edge follower

  • Roller follower

  • Mushroom (or Spherical) follower

  • Plate type follower

Classifications of followers according to movement

  • Reciprocating follower

In this type, as the cam rotates, the follower reciprocates or translates in the guides.

  • Oscillating follower

The follower is pivoted at a suitable point on the frame and oscillates as the cam makes rotary motion.

Classifications of followers according to line of movement

  • Radial follower

The follower is known as a radial follower if the line of movement of the follower passes through the centre of rotation of cam.

  • Offset follower

Offset Follower

Image source

If the line of movement of follower is offset from the centre of rotation of the cam, the follower is known as an offset follower.

I hope now you understand cam and follower in a better way. If you have any doubts you can connect with me though the comments section. I will be more than happy to answer your queries.

Image sources

Flat, radial, cylindrical cam

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