Machine Elements & Features

Machine elements and features are the building blocks of machines, and they include a wide variety of components, such as gears, bearings, shafts, springs, couplings, and many others. These elements are designed to perform specific functions within a machine, such as transmitting power, providing support, controlling motion, and absorbing shock and vibration. Machine elements and features are typically designed to be durable, reliable, and efficient, and they are often subject to rigorous performance requirements. Understanding the properties, design, and selection of machine elements and features is essential for designing and building machines that can meet the demands of modern industry.

Machine Elements & Features

Full Outline
  • Simple Machines
    • Lever
    • Inclined Plane
    • Wheel and Axle
    • Pulley
    • Wedge
    • Screw
  • Fluid Conveying, Control and Actuation [See Fluid Power Components]
    • Fluid Power Components
    • Industrial Gas
    • Plumbing, Fittings, Pipe, Tubing. See also metal shapes
    • Actuators
    • Valves
  • Tension Members
    • Cable and Rope
    • Thimbles, etc.
  • Rails, Ways, DIN rail, Unistrut
    • See also, metal shapes
    • Thompson Rod
    • Mounted Rod Rails
    • Ball Spline Linear Shaft
  • Bearings
  • Compression Members and Rods
    • See also: Axles, Shafts, Spindles and Arbors
    • Pitman, Connecting Rods
    • Push Rods
    • Control Rods
  • Axles, Shafts, Spindles and Arbors
    • See also: Rods, Rails, Round Bar
    • Keys, Keyways and Keyseats
    • Splines
    • Ratchets
    • Cams and Cranks
      • Crankshaft
      • Swashplate
      • Geneva Mechanism
      • Intermittent Gearing
    • Clutches & Intermittent Drives
      • Overrunning Clutch, See also: Ratchets
    • Couplings and Clutches
      • Detent (also linear)
      • Hirth Joint
      • Universal Joint
      • Heim Joint
      • See also: Ratchets
      • Overrunning Clutch
  • Machine Tapers and Collets
    • Machine Tapers
    • Collets
  • Wheels and Tires, Rolls
  • Seals and Gaskets
    • O-Rings
  • Hinges and Pivot Joints
    • Ball Pivot
  • Cogs, Gears and Sprockets
    • Involute Development
    • Planetary Gears
    • Design of Spur Gears
    • Racks
    • Worm Gears
    • Sprockets
    • Roller Chain
    • Timing Pulleys & Belts
    • Harmonic Drive
    • See also: Ratchets
  • Springs
    • Compression
    • Tension
    • Conical
    • Torsion
    • Wave Disk
    • Linear Wave
    • Strip, Constant-Force
  • Fasteners
    • See also, screw threads
    • See also, Adhesives & Sealants
    • Integral fasteners
      • Permanent or Nonpermanent Categories
      • Tabs
      • Boss (staking)
      • Fits – Press fit, shrink fit
      • Keder Rail
      • Crimp (see ferrule)
      • Swage
      • Bead, roll
      • Sheet metal seams
      • Snap Fit Connections
    • Discrete Fasteners
      • Threaded
        • Bolts
        • Screws
        • Nuts
        • Inserts
      • Non-Threaded
        • Pints
        • Retaining Rings
        • Nails
        • Rivets
        • Ferrules
    • Actuators, Levers, Handwheels
  • Design Features
    • Draft Angle
    • Boss
    • Grooves and Glands
    • Knurls
    • Keyways & Keyseats
    • Screw Thread
    • Fillets & Rounds
    • Chamfer
    • Taper
    • Gusset
    • Hole Features
      • Countersink
      • Counterbore
      • Counterdrill
      • Spotface


Kinematics, Dynamics


Mott, Robert L, et al. Machine Elements in Mechanical Design. New York, Pearson, 2018.

The Classical Simple Machines

The Classical Simple Machines
Simple machines are the building blocks of many machine elements. Simple make work easier to do by providing some kind of mechanical advantage. Generally this involves trading one quantity (such as force) with another (such as distance).

Design Features

Design Features
Design features are specific characteristics and elements that are incorporated into a product, structure, or system to meet certain functional, aesthetic, or performance requirements.

Cogs, Gears, and Sprockets

Gears, cogs, and sprockets are all mechanical components used for transmitting rotational motion and torque between two shafts or other elements.


Linkages are an essential component in the design of many machines and mechanisms. A linkage is a system of interconnected mechanical components that transmit motion and force from one point to another. They are made up of a series of links or bars, each connected by joints or hinges that allow for movement. Linkages can...


Fasteners are hardware devices or components used to join or affix two or more objects together. They play a crucial role in various industries and everyday applications, providing stability, strength, and integrity to assembled structures or products.

Tool Fittings and Recesses

Tool fittings refer to the design or configuration of the part of a fastener that interacts with a tool. In the context of screws and bolts, this typically involves the head of the screw or bolt, which is designed to accommodate a specific type of tool for installation or removal. Pin holes, Wrench Flats, Cross...
The Classical Simple Machines

The Classical Simple Machines

Simple machines are the building blocks of many machine elements. Simple make work easier to do by providing...
Inclined Plane

Inclined Plane

Inclined planes offer a mechanical advantage by trading off the force it takes to raise an object with...


A lever is a rigid beam that pivots around a fulcrum . Levers can exchange the amount of force it takes...
Class 1 Lever

Class 1 Lever

Class 1 levers have the fulcrum between the load and the acting force (or effort ). Class 1 levers...
Class 2 Lever

Class 2 Lever

Class 2 levers position the load between the force (effort) and the fulcrum. Class 2 levers position...
Class 3 Lever

Class 3 Lever

Class 3 levers are unique in the fact that they reverse the mechanical advantage to sacrifice a reduction...
Wheel and Axle

Wheel and Axle

When a wheel is affixed to an axle of a smaller diameter, a mechanical advantage can be gained. This...


A screw is essentially an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder. Screws can be made to move themselves...


A pulley is essentially a wheel (usually a grooved wheel or sheave ) mounted on an axle. A single...


A wedge is really an inclined plane adapted to different applications. The mechanical advantage comes...