Dustyn Roberts wrote a very useful book for anyone who is trying to build something that moves. Her target audience is “inventors, hobbyists and artists”. Since I am a mechanical engineer, just like the author, I’m not the kind of person she wrote the book for. But, I am a good person to review her book since the book is (essentially) mechanical engineering for the non-mechanical engineer.

The book starts with an overview of mechanisms and follows it with a chapter on materials and a chapter on fastening and joining parts. This is a good way to start, since it is followed by chapters on force, friction, torque, energy, power and work. (The book could have also begun with those chapters, but the exact order isn’t as important as the need to have these topics covered early.)

The second half of the books gets into the areas everyone associates with mechanisms: motors (including controllers), gears, bearings, couplers, etc. Throughout the book, and the focus of the last chapter, are some small projects that will help the reader get a better grasp of the concepts and devices presented.

If you are looking to improve your working knowledge of mechanisms, “Making Things Move” by Dustyn Roberts is a great place to start.

Title: Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists
Author: Dustyn Roberts
ISBN: 978-0-07-174167-5
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Year: 2011
Website: http://www.makingthingsmove.com/