For many years past the trend in kinematic coupling designs has shunned the classical Conical Cup, Vee Block and flat plane as described by both Maxwell and Lord Kelvin in separate publications in the late eighteen hundreds. This reluctance was based on the great difficulty of generating very high quality Conical and Vee Block surfaces. Standardized kinematic components are now available that solve these age old quality limitations. Availability of these components has rekindled interest in the classical designs with the many advantages that are offered by the diverse components. An outstanding example of these advantages is the ability of an axis to pivot with unheard of accuracy along the line axis between the Conical Cup and the Vee Block.
Among the kinematic purists out there, this will end up as a button pushing opportunity. If the Vee Block is pointed at the bisector of the kinematic axis of the coupling, the line axis of the pivot could undulate because the two tangent contacts are not on the pivot axis. If on the other hand, the Vee Block is pointed parallel to the axis, we want to depict that we are no longer in strict compliance with kinematic principles. If there is one thing that we have learned through the years, is that kinematics in general are very forgiving. A line of standardized flat components are available to go along with the conical cups and the more sophisticated components like the Rose Bud and Prismatic Components. The design of the first of the standard flat devices is for everyday applications. It is a disk made of micro “rained” stainless steel that is hardened to 58 HRC minimum. These disks are ground parallel and the working surface is lapped flat with a 2 microinch (.05 micrometer) Ra surface quality. There is a blind threaded hole in the back surface to hold them on the Kinematic Platform.