Design Assemblies with Moving Parts Easily with SOLIDWORKS Motion

We all know that design changes are much easier and cheaper to make when we are in the early stages of the design process. The conventional design process approach generally identifies design-related problems and addresses them late in the design phase, often resulting in more weight, higher costs, longer manufacturing times, and other delays. By performing analysis or virtual testing earlier in the design process, we can shorten the product development cycle substantially and ensure that the design is heading the right direction.


Conventional Process versus Early Design Validation Process

With that being said, do you know how SOLIDWORKS Motion can support the same time (and value) savings?

SOLIDWORKS Motion’s analysis capabilities can help the many SOLIDWORKS users who design assemblies with moving parts to more easily create more sophisticated and innovative products. SOLIDWORKS Motion is fully integrated with SOLIDWORKS Simulation analysis software so engineers can design, simulate, and analyze an assembly in a single, seamless operation. For example, an elevator engineer can design the assembly in SOLIDWORKS, use SOLIDWORKS Motion to size its motor requirements, and employ SOLIDWORKS Simulation to ensure it will safely support a full load.

In the animation above, the force is being applied as a function of time. Once we see a peak force, we can work with the model in order to size it properly for its real-world environment. There is a lot of information that can be extracted as well, such as pin loads.

SOLIDWORKS Motion simulates the mechanical operations of moving assemblies and the physical forces they generate. SOLIDWORKS Motion will help SOLIDWORKS users:

  • Compute position, velocities, accelerations, and loads encountered by each assembly component;
  • Automatically transfer reaction loads to SOLIDWORKS Simulation software to predict whether components will break or not, or will meet safety factor standards; and
  • Check for colliding parts when the assembly moves, and the contact forces between them.

SOLIDWORKS Motion is also coupled with SOLIDWORKS Simulation so once we have all the loading information; we are actually able to validate the stress in the components. It is possible to select any component in the assembly, specify the time range and evaluate the stress results. SOLIDWORKS Motion can then run a stress analysis for each time frame to calculate those results—directly in the same motion study.


Stress results in the arm at the same time frame with the highest actuator force.

You can also go further with design validation in order to explore other failure modes, such as fatigue, or even run a non-linear study. SOLIDWORKS Simulation reads motion loads directly from SOLIDWORKS Motion database. You can import loads at a single frame or multiple frames. The procedure is very easy. SOLIDWORKS Simulation also creates a design study with the gravity loads along X, Y, and Z directions and the loads due to angular velocity and angular acceleration as the variables. You can then type required values for these variables.

SOLIDWORKS Motion is a very interactive solution. It enables you to easily identify where the stress locations are so you can size your components in the right way, while verifying the function. With SOLIDWORKS Motion you can make sure your designs are going to work properly, even before you create your first physical prototype. If you are a machine or a mechanism designer, check out this video that demonstrates the features and functions of SOLIDWORKS Motion.


Timoteo Müller

Timoteo Müller

Gerente Técnico, América Latina at Dassault Systèmes
Timoteo is a Senior Area Technical Manager for Latin America.
Timoteo Müller
Timoteo Müller
Timoteo Müller

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