Epitrochoid

Epitrochoid

[ep-i-troh-koid]

An epitrochoid is a roulette traced by a point attached to a circle of radius r rolling around the outside of a fixed circle of radius R, where the point is a distance d from the center of the exterior circle.

The parametric equations for an epitrochoid are

x = (R + r)costheta - dcosleft({R + r over r}thetaright),,
y = (R + r)sintheta - dsinleft({R + r over r}thetaright).,

Special cases include the limaçon with R = r and the epicycloid with d = r.

The classic Spirograph toy traces out epitrochoid and hypotrochoid curves.

The orbits of planets in the once popular geocentric Ptolemaic system are epitrochoids.

The stator of the Wankel engine is an epitrochoid.

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