‘Inverse Kinematics’ – Mechanisms That Design Themselves

It seems that there is an unspoken rule in product development that the later the design change, the bigger the headache. And when the design change involves altering a mechanical linkage, then it is very common for the mechanism to no longer behave as before.  Simply extending a link or moving a linkage pivot point can have far reaching effects.

The design, or even the redesign, of mechanisms has traditionally been a very iterative process, guess and check, guess and check.  But it shouldn’t be.  When designing a mechanism you generally know the start and end positions of the mechanism, maybe some intermediate positions or orientations.  So surely the power of your CAD system should be able to calculate the rest.  Well today, with SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer, it can using inverse kinematics.

2D sketch motion within SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer delivers comprehensive motion analysis functionality with exceptional ease of use. In addition to traditional motion analyses, where you can set up multiple kinematic and dynamic motion studies to determine range of motion, interferences, forces and position results, SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer offers the Mechanism Design tool to calculate link lengths and anchor positions given a starting mechanism and at least two positions.  Watch the short video below to see how this is achieved.



SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer is the first mainstream design tool to deliver inverse kinematics. Using 2D sketch motion layouts and alternate position snapshots you can quickly size and locate your mechanism quickly and easily. Click below to watch the webinar and learn how you can maximize conceptual design effectiveness.


Stephen Endersby

Stephen Endersby

Product Manager at SolidWorks
Stephen Endersby

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