Design Cookbook Index

The Design Cookbook is a collection of notes on how to make miscellaneous components of your machine. These notes have been written by various professors and TAs over many years at Cambridge University and MIT.

Machine Elements

  1. Pivots
  2. Sliding Bearings & Surfaces
  3. Trigger Mechanisms
  4. Couplings
  5. Springs
  6. Basic Linkages and 4-Bar Linkage Design
  7. Hubs
  8. Wheel Designs
  9. Motor Mounts
  10. Pulley Drives


  1. Safety
  2. Tapping and screwing
  3. Cutting rigid plastics
  4. Machinig rigid plastics
  5. Example of a process plan

Joining and Fastening

  1. Adhesive joints, single rivet, and stapled joints
  2. T-joints and soldered joints
  3. Metal to wood joints
  4. Example of joint: Column base
  5. Examples of quick-disconnect fasteners


  1. Tips for Doing Calculations
  2. Using Software Packages for Engineering Calculations
  3. Simple Physics Calculations for a Contest
  4. Balancing a Machine with an Arm
  5. Beam Bending Examples
  6. Climbing an Inclined Plane