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Based on the description of friend I drew this small example of a specific pan-tilt mechanism I'd like more information on, but as I'm not an engineer I don't really know what terms to use and can't seem to find anything. I think I might have seen it somewhere related to nautical devices once, but I'm not sure.

The system I'm looking for uses two cylinders with a slanted face. Both are able to rotate around their central axis. As part B (top part) is connected to part A (bottom part) at the center of their slanted faces, it moves together with part A but is also able to rotate around it's own axis, combining both their movement and creating a lot of freedom in achievable positions. See the image below for a 3d impression of the shapes and a 2 schematic of how they rotate (where the dotted line would be their rotational axis).

Any idea what this is called, or what to look for?

3d image 2d image

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I think this omniswivel comes pretty close to what you describe. The only difference is that the surface between the two parts is circular instead of elliptical. This allows for 360° of rotation instead of only two fixed positions.

Image: omniswivel

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, this has surely pointed me into the right direction. $\endgroup$ – Valrog Dec 29 '18 at 11:45
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This is a very common scheme to obtain tilt/pan action. Lots of variations of it are used in drum set hardware as adjustable mounts for cymbals and in microphone stands as adjustable mounts for microphones. In these contexts, this sort of mechanism is called a tilt mount.

The facing cuts are usually knurled with a series of radial ridges that engage and interlock when the screw connecting them is tightened, so the assembly will not slip out of position during use.

Usually, the plane containing the tilt mount faces is parallel to the axis of the parts A and B rather than being at 45 degrees.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you maybe have a link to an example? Looking at google images / wikipedia I see ball joints or flat joints that move in 1 axis and which you tighten with a wingnut. Looking for drum kits, microphones or cymbals I can't find anything similar to what I tried to describe. $\endgroup$ – Jasper Dec 26 '18 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ I'll let you know when I find one. $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Dec 26 '18 at 19:13

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