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Thus, in practice, the points at which lift begins and ends mean that a tangent to the base circle appears on the profile.This is continuous with a tangent to the tip circle.Applications include machine tool drives, such as reciprocating saws, and shift control barrels in sequential transmissions, such as on most modern motorcycles.

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In some applications, a single element, such as a gear, a barrel cam, or other rotating element with a flat face, may do duty as a face cam in addition to other purposes.

Face cams may provide repetitive motion with a groove that forms a closed curve, or may provide function generation with a stopped groove.

Cams used for function generation may have grooves that require several revolutions to cover the complete function, and in this case, the function generally needs to be invertible so that the groove does not self intersect, and the function output value must differ enough at corresponding rotations that there is sufficient material separating the adjacent groove segments.

A common form is the constant lead cam, where displacement of the follower is linear with rotation, such as the scroll plate in a scroll chuck.

The cam can be a simple tooth, as is used to deliver pulses of power to a steam hammer, for example, or an eccentric disc or other shape that produces a smooth reciprocating (back and forth) motion in the follower, which is a lever making contact with the cam.

a cylinder with an irregular shape) that strikes a lever at one or more points on its circular path.

A simple displacement diagram illustrates the follower motion at a constant velocity rise followed by a similar return with a dwell in between as depicted in figure 2.

However, the most common type is in the valve actuators in internal combustion engines.

In the most common type, the follower rides in a groove cut into the surface of a cylinder.

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