A versatile, systematic procedure that can be used to determine follower motions from measured discrete planar cam profile data is presented. Based on the geometric relationship at the contact point between a cam and its follower system, the reverse functions for planar cams with various types of followers are established. Then, a periodic B-spline approximation in a form of least squares is introduced to approximate the measured data and to generate the data derivatives required in finding their corresponding follower motions. The accuracy and reliability of this method is verified, and furthermore, a practical example is given to show the application of this procedure.

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