A three tooth kinematic coupling based on having three theoretical line contacts formed by mating teeth rather than six theoretical point contacts. The geometry requires one coupling half to have curved teeth and the other coupling half to have flat teeth. Each coupling half has a relieved center portion which does not effect the kinematics, but in the limit as the face width approaches zero, three line contacts become six point contacts. As a result of having line contact, a three tooth coupling has greater load capacity and stiffness. The kinematic coupling has application for use in precision fixturing for tools or workpieces, and as a registration device for a work or tool changer or for optics in various products.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.