In Newton's method, two angles of constant magnitude are caused to revolve about their vertices which are fixed in position, in such a manner that the intersection of two limbs moves along a fixed straight line; then the two remaining limbs envelop a conic. Maclaurin's method, published in his Geometria organica (1719), is based on the proposition that the locus of the vertex of a triangle, the sides of which pass through three fixed points, and the base angles move along two fixed lines, is a conic section.

Again, any plane w is the locus of a system of null-lines meeting in a point, called the null-point of c. If a plane revolve about a fixed straight line p in it, its ntill-point describes another straight line p, which is called the conjugate line of p. We have seen that the wrench may be replaced by two forces, one of which may act in any arbitrary line p. It is now evident that the second force must act in the conjugate line p, since every line meeting p, p is a null-line.