Observing Santa’s Elves at work with SOLIDWORKS Motion

With all the joys and excitement surrounding the holidays, we often forget the hard work and long hours that go into the delivery of our Christmas gifts. With the help of SOLIDWORKS Motion Analysis, (available with SOLIDWORKS Premium) we can simulate the production line of Santa’s workshop and observe the elves at work.

Creating the conveyor belt:

The belt consists of a series of patterned rollers with a rotary motor placed on the seed component. These rollers are hidden from our view and instead replaced with a stationary belt and smaller rotating shafts to create the visual illusion of the movement.

A downwards force on the gift and solid body contact between the gift and the hidden rollers forces the gift to drop from the shoot and move along the belt at a steady pace.

SOLIDWORKS Motion- Christmas Blog

The gift wrapping transition:

The gift component has two configurations to represent both the boxed and the wrapped stages of the parcel.

Behind the wrapping machine, the unwrapped gift collides with the wrapped gift and pushes it along the rest of the production line with the original cardboard configuration becoming hidden as it leaves the machine.

SOLIDWORKS Motion- Christmas Wrapping

Entry of the Bow:

The bow component is hidden for the first 8 seconds of the motion study and then reappears as another motor moves the elves arm up in a timely manner. This is done by creating an appearance key point with the component hidden and creating a second key point shortly after with the part visible. By placing the two key points extremely close together, the transition from 0 to 100% opacity is unnoticeable in the animation.

SOLIDWORKS Elf - Motion Simulation

Gift Counter:

The gift counter consists of decagon with numbers 0-9 on each face. A distance motor of 36 degrees (tenth of a full revolution) is used to transition the face from 0 to 1

SOLIDWORKS - Motion Simulation

Finally, the gift drops off the belt and drops into the Santa’s sack ready to deliver on Christmas morning!

The animation was saved as a series of high quality rendered bitmaps using the Photoview 360 add-in and finally stitched together to create the final video.

Happy Holidays!


By Harneel Heer

SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer

Solid Solutions Technical Team
Solid Solutions Management Ltd was founded in 1998, originally as a SOLIDWORKS training and support provider. Now a Group with over 20 offices across the UK and Ireland, Solid Solutions is not only the leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD reseller in both regions, it also offers expert professional design solutions and consultancy services to more than 15,000+ customers. With over 200 employees and the largest SOLIDWORKS technical team in the world, Solid Solutions is focused on growth and on its customers’ development and success.
Solid Solutions Technical Team