Motion - an Engineering Tool

Tuesday December 13, 2011 at 11:41am
Motion - an Engineering Tool

I was teaching the SOLIDWORKS Motion course recently and was surprised by a comment made by a trainee. He said he had not appreciated beforehand how sophisticated Motion was as a tool for solving engineering problems. Other trainees agreed. It seems that many customers regard Motion as a means of creating animations. This may be true for the 'Animation' and 'Basic Motion' options but certainly not for the full 'Motion Analysis' tool (available for all SOLIDWORKS Premium users).

The Motion tool simulates rigid body motion of parts and assemblies by incrementing movements and at each step finding a 'force balance'. In other words through the range of motion, the software determines equilibrium between the applied forces and the dynamic (inertial) forces. It uses Newton's laws and the principle of conservation of momentum.

This means we can solve a host of complex mechanical engineering problems such as ...

  • Calculating torque and power requirements for motors
  • Evaluating static and dynamic loads on bearings
  • Optimising springs and dampers
  • Predicting opening / closing forces on levers
  • Estimating cycle time for complex sequences using servo motors and limit switches
  • Determining yaw / pitch and roll
  • ... and many more engineering problems

All the above results can be plotted graphically with respect to time and even with respect to each other. Not only that but you can also solve complex static problems if there is no motion applied - the force balance solver will still work. This can save hours of time for engineers poring over spreadsheets.

As a reseller we need to make sure that our customers are aware of these tools! If customers want more info, please call us.

Andy Fulcher

Technical Manager

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