Written by Brad Rach, Application Engineer
With SOLIDWORKS we are readily able to quickly model nearly anything we need to build in the real world. Furthermore, within assemblies we can utilize mates to build in a virtual-reality aspect and really get a feel for how our latest design is going to function. For those really interested in going a step further, SOLDIWORK has a little used add-in called Motion Analysis. This tool is a physics-based solver that utilizes the mates of an assembly, defined contact groups, and loads to accurately determine the movements and reactions of an assembly.
One situation where I really played with the power of the motion analysis is in this simple Horse-shoe game assembly. Everything in the assembly was modeled based on the rules of the game of Horse-shoes, where we throw a “shoe” across a 40ft span to try and land our “shoe” either around a stake, or closer to the stake than our opponent can.
To perform this analysis, there are only a few key things which needed to be defined to achieve realistic results.
- Solid body contact between groups which are impacting.
- Velocity, Rotation, and Direction of the “shoe” being thrown
SOLIDWORKS then uses each of these variables, along with the actual model geometry, to solve what can be considered a very difficult problem. Look below at some of the end results for this horse-shoe simulation.
SOLIDWORKS motion is a simulation tool available with SOLIDWORKS Premium, or any or the SOLIDWORKS Simulation packages. The motion tool does have additional toolsets to help you tackle problems where motors are driving your assembly, to account for springs, and to insert shock absorbers.