Welcome to Alistair's engineering tutorials

Welcome to Alistair's engineering tutorials at alistairstutorials.co.uk

I am a retired mechanical engineer looking to fill some time, hence these web pages.  For me they are a challenge and fun to prepare. I hope you find something interesting on the site.

Tutorials are in four broad subject categories: strength of materials, mechanics of machines, mechanical vibrations and robotics accessed from the sidebar links.  The pitch generally is at the level of the early stages of an engineering degree course.

I emphasise aspects which I (still do) find tricky and are sometimes glossed over in text books. The material is not a rigorous presentation of theory - for that you need a recognised text book or formal course material.

Text and diagrams are my own composition and all intellectual content is "body of knowledge" in the public domain.  In this respect I must acknowledge the following classic text books I frequently refer to for guidance:

Case and Chilver, Strength of materials,  Edward Arnold, 1964

Shigley, Mechanical engineering design,  McGraw-Hill, 1986

Den Hartog, Mechanics,  Dover Publications, 1961

Hannah and Stephens, Mechanics of machines, Edward Arnold, 1982

The old ones are still the best ones!

I acknowledge specific source material for robotics within the relevant tutorials.


I welcome feedback at:


Home page

Tutorials - stregnth of materials

Stress and strain - Basic concepts
Beams - Terminology and sign conventions
Beams - bending moments and shearing forces - simply supported beam with point loads
Beams - bending moments and shearing forces - cantilever with uniform distributed load
Beams - bending moments and shearing forces - simply supported beam with variable distributed load
Bending moments and shearing forces in beams - Singularity functions
Normal bending stresses in beams
Shear bending stresses in beams
Deflection of beams in bending
Forces in structural trusses
Torsional stresses
Buckling of columns

Tutorials - mechanics of machines

Crank mechanism kinematics - classic analysis
Crank mechanism kinematics - velocity and acceleration diagrams
Crank mechanism kinematics - vector equations
Crank mechanism - free body diagrams
Crank mechanism - inertia forces and crankshaft torque
Crank mechanism - crank effort and balancing
Crank mechanism - offsets and eccentrics

Tutorials - robotics

Kinematics of robot manipulators - introduction
Kinematics of robot manipulators - forward kinematics 1 (homogeneous transformation matrices)
Kinematics of robot manipulators - forward kinematics 2 (Denavit Hartenberg method)
Kinematics of robot manipulators - inverse kinematics

Tutorials - mechanical vibrations

Mechanical vibrations - introduction and overview
Mechanical vibrations - maths tutorial
Free vibrations
Free vibrations with damping
Forced vibrations without damping
Forced vibrations with damping

Alistair's tutorials 2021