Types of Cam



A. According to shape of cam
1. Radial or Disc cam
2. Cylindrical cam
3. Translation or wedge cam
4. Conjugate cam
5. Globoidal cam
6. Spherical cam

B. According to follower movement
1. Dwell Rise Dwell Return Dwell cam
2. Dwell Rise Return Dwell cam
3. Rise Return Rise cam
4. Dwell Rise Dwell cam

C. According to type of constraint of the follower
1. Preloaded spring cam
2. Positive drive cam




What is cam?

Cam is a machine element which is used in cam and follower mechanism. Cam and follower mechanism is used in various machines to transmit motion from cam to follower (Types of Followers) in a particular direction. Cam has different profile and may be in rotary and reciprocating motion. Good example of cam and follower is used in internal combustion engine for opening and closing intake valve and outlet valve. Cam and follower has different types. Types of cam are as follow.

A. According to shape of cam

In this category, types of cam are classified by the shape of cam and profile of cam. These are as follows.

1. Radial or Disc cam

Radial or Disc cam


In radial cam, cam profile (shape of cam) is design in such way by which follower move as per the shape of cam or cam profile in perpendicular direction to the cam axis. There is always surface contact between cam profile and follower by spring force or gravity force.

2. Cylindrical cam

Cylindrical cam


In cylindrical cam, follower axis and cam axis are parallel to each other. Cylindrical cam is cylindrical shaft on which profile made on cylindrical surface by machining. This profile is in the groove form and follower has surface contact with this groove. As cylindrical shaft or cylindrical cam is rotates follower move and movement of follower may be reciprocating or oscillating.

3. Translation or wedge cam

Translation or wedge cam


In this type of cam, cam is reciprocated and this movement is used to move follower. Cam has a specific shape or profile by which movement of follower is done.

4. Conjugate cam

Conjugate cam


In this type two discs are connected to each other and axes of discs are offset by the distance, to form cam profile. Follower has surface contact with cam profile by two rollers. As the cam rotate follower follow it.

5. Globoidal cam

Globoidal cam


Globoidal cam is shaft and has a concave or convex circumference. On which groove is made by machining and this groove is used for give movement to follower. Globoidal cam is used for oscillating follower about a fixed point.

6. Spherical cam

Spherical cam


Spherical cam is in the form of spherical shape on which groove is made. Follower has surface contact with this groove. As cam rotate follower oscillate about a fixed point.





B. According to follower movement

In these category types of cam is classified as per movement of follower. Movement of follower is depending upon cam profile for this; cams are also classified according to follower movement.

1. Dwell Rise Dwell Return Dwell cam

Dwell Rise Dwell Return Dwell cam


In this type, follower movement is considering. As per name follower movement done in a way that first dwell then rise again dwell then return and again dwell. This all process is done in one rotation (360 degree) of cam.

2. Dwell Rise Return Dwell cam

Dwell Rise Return Dwell cam


In this type, follower movement is considering. As per name follower movement done in a way that first dwell then rise then return and again dwell. This all process is done in one rotation (360 degree) of cam.

3. Rise Return Rise cam

Rise Return Rise cam


In this type, follower movement is considering. As per name follower movement is done in way that first rise then return. This all process is done in one rotation (360 degree) of cam.

4. Dwell Rise Dwell cam

Dwell Rise Dwell cam


In this type, follower movement is considering. As per name follower movement done in a way that first dwell then rise then again dwell. This all process is done in one rotation (360 degree) of cam. And at 360 degree it suddenly falls to its first position.

C. According to type of constraint of the follower

For proper function of cam and follower mechanism, it is important to keep surface contact between cam profile and follower at all time of rotation and any speed. For this need spring force, gravity force or positive drives are use in cam and follower mechanism. On this basis cams are classified by type of constraint of follower and these are as follow.

1. Preloaded spring cam

Preloaded spring cam


In this type of cam spring force is used. Compression spring is preloaded into follower in such a way that it maintains surface contact all time.

2. Positive drive cam

Positive drive cam


In this type of cam, it does not require any external force. The follower is design in such a way that it does not require any external force.




Recommended Links

  • Types of Followers