What Is a Crank and Slider Mechanism?

A crank and slider mechanism changes straight-line motion into rotation motion. Typically found in piston engines or piston pumps, this design consists of a rod that connects to a rotating driving beam and a sliding body.

In a crank and slider mechanism design, the sliding body rests inside a prismatic joint that prevents it from rotating. At the other end of the mechanism, the driving beam rotates around several degrees of freedom. This movement generates kinetic energy that translates into the sliding body, moving it forwards and backwards.

An automobile is a good example of a crank and slider mechanism in work. Spark mixes with gasoline to cause a small explosion, sending the crank and slider into action to move the pistons up and down.