By April 1, 2018 3 Comments Read More →

Cam and follower mechanism types and functions

A cam is a mechanical member which impart desired motion to the follower by direct contact. Cam may be rotating or reciprocating while a follower may be rotating, reciprocating and oscillating. A cam-follower forms higher pair as they have point contact at the junction. From now we will term cam and follower mechanism as cam only for understanding.

Application of cam: IC engines, machine tools, and mechanism


Cam and follower mechanism


cam and follower mechanismcam and follower mechanism


Elements of cam

  • Driver member is cam
  • The driven member is a follower
  • A frame or structure which guides both cam and follower


Types of cam


According to shape


  • Wedge or flat cam

This cam has transnational motion.

  • Radial or disc cam

Here follower moves radically from the center of rotation of the cam.

  • Spiral cam

This is also known as face cam as a groove is cut in the form of the spiral.

  • Cylindrical cam

A circumferential contour is cut on the cylinder surface which rotates about its axis. It is also known as barrel or drum cam.

  • Conjugate cam

This is double disc cam used when we require low wear, noise and better control of follower, high speed and high dynamic load.

  • Globoidal cam

It has two types of faces- convex and concave. It is used for moderate speed and angle of oscillation of follower is large.


According to follower movement

  • Rise-Return-Rise (RRR)
  • Dwell-Rise-Return-Dwell (DRRDS)
  • Dwell-Rise-Dwell-Return-Dwell (DRDRD)



Types of followers


According to shape


  • Knife-edge follower

As the name implies, it has knife shape edge. It is more prone to wear t point of contact.

  • Roller Follower

It consists a roller near the point of contact. It is preferred for low speed as at high-speed sliding occurs.

  • Mushroom follower

Its edge shape is like a mushroom.



According to movement


  • Reciprocating follower
  • Oscillating follower



According to line of movement


  • Radial follower : line of movement pass through center of rotation of cam.
  • Offset follower: line of movement is offset from center of rotation of cam.


Posted in: Machine, Mechanics

3 Comments on "Cam and follower mechanism types and functions"

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  1. Jaxon says:

    This is actually useful, thanks.

  2. Mari says:

    It works quite well for me

  3. Pamela - says:

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