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Unexpected Useful Surprise in SolidWorks Motion

Thursday October 18, 2012 at 4:04pm

I have been teaching SOLIDWORKS Motion for the best part of 10 years and yesterday was surprised to discover a new capability that I had no idea existed. It is not covered in any of the training material and I haven't seen it used by a customer - so it is about time it got some publicity!

The capability is the ability to give a part an initial velocity. This can be a linear or angular velocity or both. This means that the parts of an assy can be initially moving and don't have to start from rest. Until now I have achieved this by a workaround - applying a force or motor for a short period right at the start of the motion and then switching it off. Now I can dispense with this workaround and apply the initial velocity directly.

How come I have missed this capability - after all it sounds simple? The reason is that the property manager for 'Initial Velocity' is somewhat hidden away and not on the ribbon toolbar. To set up an initial velocity, the user must right mouse button click on the part in the Motion tree. From there you can pick the 'Initial Velocity' option and then enter magnitudes and directions for linear and angular velocity see screenshot below ...

This capability is especially useful when studying dynamic problems like projectiles, rockets, collisions etc.

Andy Fulcher

Technical Manager

Solid Solutions Management Ltd

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 Solid Solutions | Trimech Group

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