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I have a quick question about the force needed to accelerate/decelerate an irregular object.

Lets say I have a 3D object with the following general shape, Gripper Assembly on a Fixed Beam This system is in general a gripper (gray) holding a load (yellow) and fixed onto a translating horizontal beam (blue).

I was thinking, to calculate the stopping force of the load and gripper, I just would need to find the center of mass of the load and gripper and apply Newton's Second Law with the expected acceleration/deceleration?

Or does using a center of mass calculation with Newton's Second Law result in a large error from the actual system behavior?

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As you said the basic deceleration is $$ \alpha =\frac{v_{initial}-v_{final}}{t}=\frac{v}{t}$$

Of secondary order magnitude are things like the tendency of the load to tilt forward an swing up under negative acceleration and that leads to checking for:

  • The stability and stiffness of the beam and its mass compared to the mass of load and bracket.

  • The play of the bracket so as it does not permit the stopping degenerate into vibration and shimmying of the bearings.

  • The hammer action of the load at the end of its course.

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