Football Fun with SOLIDWORKS Motion

With the NFL Superbowl right around the corner, I thought it would be cool to have some fun with SOLIDWORKS Motion and look at the physics of a field goal using Motion Simulation! Let’s say we want to find the force required to kick a 50 yard field goal. Since air resistance throws in all kinds of headaches, let’s for the sake of simplicity remove that.

Without air resistance, this problem is just a projectile motion problem and could be done with hand calculations, but who has time for that?? Instead lets take a look at how easily we can set this up in SOLIDWORKS Motion.

First we get ourselves some goal posts, a football field, and of course a football…
Football
Next, we create our SOLIDWORKS Motion study and apply gravity. We setup a contact condition between the goal posts and the ball and finally apply a force on the ball at a specified launch angle. Once these things are setup, we simply change the force value a few times until we make the field goal! Yes, this problem could easily be solved with a hand calculation if the force is all that we are worried about. However, along with just the force information, we can extract the displacement, velocity, and acceleration of the ball throughout the projectile path. We can even pull out how much energy is stored within the ball during the kick…and the best thing of all, it’s WAY more fun than getting out your calculator! 🙂

 

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So from our analysis we can conclude that at a 40 degree launch angle without any air resistance, it would take a force of 21 pounds applied over a tenth of a second to make a 50 yard field goal.

SOLIDWORKS Motion is one of the simulation tools that I feel gets forgotten about a lot of times, so I thought this would be a fun way to remind people of it. Not only is it fun to play with, it also is extremely powerful when you are designing mechanisms!

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IT’S GOOD!!!

By: Chris Olson, Simulation Applications Engineer

 

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GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, electrical schematics, PCB, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions, HP, and Markforged 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.
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