Mechanical Circle-Squaring

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Abstract:

A technique discovered in 1939 can be used to build a device that is driven by standard circular motion (as in a drill press) and drills exact square holes. This device is quite different from the classic design by Watts, which uses a Reuleaux triangle and drills a hole that is almost, but not exactly, square. We describe the device in detail, deriving the equations needed to make a computer simulation. Then we investigate the extension to other polygons and show how the basic idea can be combined with some knowledge of envelopes to produce a device that traces out an exact hexagon.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/193113409X458679

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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