Kinematic Coupling References

The following is a list of published references and web links related to kinematic couplings research, development, and component supply. We're always looking for more references, so please email yours to and they will be posted on this page.


General Precision Machine Design - General Design Principles and Theory

Design of Kinematic Couplings - Design of Quasi-Kinematic Couplings - Miscellaneous - Suppliers


General Precision Machine Design:

  1. Battles, A.E., Linder, B. M., Chang, K.W., Slocum, A.H., "The Design of a Precision Bilaminar Resonating Transducer Assembly Tool", Precision Eng., Vol. 15, No. 4, Oct. 1993, pp 248-257.
  2. Boyes, W.E. ed.  Handbook of Jig and Fixture Design. Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1989.
  3. Boyes, W.E. ed. Low-Cost Jigs, Fixtures and Gages for Limited Production. Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1986.
  4. Braddick, H.J.J. Ch 2, "The Principles of Design," Mechanical Design of Laboratory Apparatus. Chapman & Hall, London.
  5. Brooks, L.S. "Adjustable Instrument Mount."  Journal of Optical Society of America. v44, p 87 (1954).
  6. Elliot A. and J.H.Dickson. "Constrained Motion and Constraints" in Laboratory Instruments:  Their Design and Application. Chapman & Hall, 1951. 
  7. Hale, Layton C. "Principles and Techniques for Designing Precision Machines." Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1999.
  8. Kamm, Lawrence J. Designing Cost-Effective Mechanisms. Society of Automotive Engineers, 1990.   
  9. Pfahnl, A. C., Lienhard V, J. H., Slocum, A.H., "Heat Transfer Enhancing Features for Handler Tray-Type Device Carriers", IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Part C: Manufacturing, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 1998.
  10. Pollarad, A.F.C. The Kinemataical Design of Couplings in Instrument Mechanisms. Hilger, London, 1929.
  11. Schmiechen, P., Slocum, A.H., "Analysis of Kinematic Systems: a Generalized Approach", Precision Eng., Vol. 19, No. 1, July 1996, pp. 11-18.
  12. C. H. Schouten, P. C. J. N. Rosielle and P. H. J. Schellekens. Design of a kinematic coupling for precision applications. Precision Engineering, Volume 20, Issue 1, January 1997, Pages 46-52
  13. Slocum, Alexander H. Precision Machine Design. Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1992. See also
  14. Slocum, Alexander H. "Method of and Apparatus for Locating and Orientating a Part on a Gripper and Transferring it to a Tool While Maintaining Location and Orientation on the Tool." U.S. Patent 5,711,647, January 27, 1998.
  15. Smith and Chetwynd. Foundations of Ultraprecision Mechanism Design.Gordon & Breach Science Publishers: Montreux, Switzerland, 1992.
  16. Strong, A. "Kinematical design," pp 585-592 in  Procedures in experimental Physics. Prentice Hall, 1938.
  17. Vukabratovich, D. Introduction to Opto-Mechanical Design, SPIE short course.
  18. Whitehead, T.N. The Design and Use of Instruments and Accurate Mechanism  Ch VII "Precision-Kinematic Design." Dover, New York.  
  19. Yoder, P.R.. Precision Optical component Mounting Techniques  SPIE short course, 1989.




General Design Principles and Theory:

  1. Beer, Ferdinand P. and Russell Johnston, Jr. Mechanics of Materials. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, Inc.: New York, 1992.
  2. Bickford, John H. and Sayed Nassar, eds. Handbook of Bolts and Bolted Joints. Marcel Dekker, Inc.: New York, 1998.
  3. Blanding, Douglas K. Exact Constraint: Machine Design Using Kinematic Principles. ASME Press: New York, 1999.
  4. Hog, E. "A Kinematic Mounting," Astronomy & Astrophysics.  v 41 pp 107-109  (1975). 
  5. Johnson, K.L. Contact Mechanics. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 1985.
  6. Maxwell, J.C. "General Considerations Concerning Scientific Apparatus", The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, ed. W.C. Nivens, Dover Press, 1890.
  7. Mischke, Charles R. and Joseph E. Shigley. Mechanical Engineering Design, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 1989.
  8. Mott, Robert L. Machine Elements in Mechanical Design. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall: Upple Saddle River, NJ, 1992.
  9. Suh, Nam. The Principles of Design. Oxford University Press: New York, 1990.
  10. Whipple, R.S. "The Design and Construction of Scientific Instruments,"  Transactions of the Optical Society, v 22, pp 3-52  (1920-1921) 




Design of Kinematic Couplings:


  1. Hale, Layton C. and Alexander H. Slocum. "Optimal Design Techniques for Kinematic Couplings", Precision Engineering, 25, 114-127, 2000.
  2. Mullenheld, Bernard. "Prinzips der kinematischen Kopplung als Schnittstelle zwischen Spindel und Schleifscheibe mit praktischer Erprobung im Vergleich zum Kegel-Hohlschaft" (Application of kinematic couplings to a grinding wheel interface), SM Thesis, Aachen, Germany, 1999.
  3. Robertson, A., Slocum, A., Willoughby, P. "Precision Robot Calibration Using Kinematically Placed Inclinometers." Proceedings of 2001 ASPE Conference, p 229 - 232.
  4. Slocum, Alexander H. "Kinematic Couplings for Precision Fixturing -- Part I: Formulation of Design Parameters", Precision Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp85-91, April 1988.
  5. Slocum, Alexander H. and Alkan Donmez. "Kinematic Couplings for Precision Fixturing - Part 2: Experimental Determination of Repeatability and Stiffness", Precision Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp 115-122, July 1988.
  6. Slocum, Alexander H. "Design of Three-Groove Kinematic Couplings", Precision Engineering, Vo. 14, No. 2, pp 67-76, April 1992.
  7. Vallance, R, Slocum, A., "The Design of Split-Groove Kinematic Couplings", submitted to Precision Eng., May 1999.
  8. Hale, N.  "Friction Based Designs of Kinematic Couplings", Prepared for American Society for Precision Engineering 13th Annual Meeting. 
  9. Smith, R.L. and S.D. Collins. "A Wafer-to-Wafer Alignment Technique." Sensors and Actuators, Vol. 20 pp 315 - 316, 1989.
  10. I. Sherrington and E. H. Smith. "Deisgn and Performance Assessment of a Kelvin Clamp for Use in Relocation Analysis of Surface Topography," Precision Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp 77 - 85, April 1993.
  11. Culpepper, M., Kartik, M.V., and DiBiasio, C. "Design of integrated eccentric mechanisms and exact constraint fixtures for micron-level repeatability and accuracy." Precision Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp 65 - 80, January 2005.
  12. Barraja, M. and Vallanve, R. "Tolerancing kinematic couplings." Precision Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp 101 - 112, January 2005.


  1. A. Slocum, D. Braunstein, L. Muller, "Flexural Kinematic Couplings", #5,678, 944, October 1997.
  2. A. Slocum, "Method and Apparatus for Locating and Orienting a Part on a Gripper and Transferring it to a Tool while Maintaining Location and Orientation on the Tools", #5,711,647, January 1998.
  3. A. Slocum, "Kinematic Coupling Fluid Couplings and Method", #5,683,118.
  4. A. Slocum, et-al, "Modular System", #5,733,024, March 31, 1998.
  5. A. Slocum, "Kinematic Coupling Method And System For Aligning Sand Mold Cores And The Like And Other Soft Objects And Surfaces" #5,769,554.
  6. A. Slocum, D. Braunstein, "Kinematic Coupling for Thin Plates and Sheets and the Like", #5,915,678, June 29, 1999.
  7. Swearingen, J, "Shaft-rotor Coupling" #4,074,946.
  8. Hale, L, "Three-tooth Kinematic Coupling" #6,065,898.
  9. Voellmer, G, "High-repeatability, robot friendly, ORU interface" #5,167,464.




Design of Quasi-Kinematic Couplings:

  1. Culpepper, Martin L. "Design and Application of Compliant Quasi-Kinematic Couplings", Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2000.
  2. Culpepper, Martin L. and Alexander H. Slocum. "Quasi-Kinematic Coupling and Method for Use in Assembling and Locating Mechanical Components and the Like", U.S. Patent 6,193,430, February 27, 2001.
  3. Culpepper, M. L, Slocum, A. H., Shaikh F. Z, "Quasi-Kinematic Couplings For Precision Automotive Assemblies," Presented at the 1999 ASME-ICE Fall Technical Conference," Ann Arbor, IN, October, 1999.
  4. Culpepper, M. L, Slocum, A. H., Shaikh F. Z, "Quasi-Kinematic Couplings: A Low-Cost Method For Precision coupling of Product Components and the Like in Manufacturing Processes,"Presented at the 1999 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Precision Engineering, Monterey, CA, November,1999.





  1. Bamberg, Eberhard. "Principles of Rapid Machine Design", Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2000.
  2. Dimarogonas, Andrew D. Computer Aided Machine Design. Prentice Hall: New York, 1989.
  3. Zhavi, Eliahu. The Finite Element Method in Machine Design. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1992.
  4. Elliptical Hertzian contact calculator - Java applet,
  5. Line Hertzian contact calculator - Java applet,





Precision kinematic components (stock balls and grooves):

     Bal-Tec at

Custom precision machined kinematic couplings, with experience making ground canoe balls:

     Weldon Machine Tool at

Low-friction surface coatings, such as TiN layered with WS2:

     BryCoat at or (800) 989-8788

Groove Milling Tools using three tooth couplings
Paul Horn GMBH at
Mechanical design firm - creator of Sphereolinder contacting element.
Sphereolinder at



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