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I have a bar which I want to move as if it was pivoted on a point beyond its end.

e.g.

--------    *


         /
        /
       /
      /    

Is there a linkage, or other mechanism, which can let a bar move as if it were pivoted at a point beyond its end (the asterisk), yet not extend as far as the (virtual) pivot point?

The mechanism can extend to the left, above and below the bar, but cannot extend towards the (virtual) pivot point.

(I have already thought of using two arcs to constrain the ends of the bar, but that seems prone to jamming.)

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Many of the car hoods or trunks do exactly what you are about to do. They open using a trapezoid link and a spring loaded shock absorber. They do this to give more space than a simple hinge, so the mechanic can work under the hood.

Some garage doors use the same mechanism and you can buy the parts from hardware stores.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, could you point me at a picture of a trapezoid link? Google keeps showing me steering mechnisms. $\endgroup$
    – fadedbee
    Oct 23 '19 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ I just needed to google "four bar automobile hood linkage". $\endgroup$
    – fadedbee
    Oct 23 '19 at 7:42

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