Introduction to Motion Studies

Motion studies are graphical simulations of motion for assembly models. You can incorporate visual properties such as lighting and camera perspective into a motion study.

Motion studies do not change an assembly model or its properties. They simulate and animate the motion you prescribe for a model. You can use SOLIDWORKS mates to restrict the motion of components in an assembly when you model motion.

From a motion study, you can use MotionManager, a timeline-based interface that includes the following motion study tools:

Animation (available in core SOLIDWORKS)

You can use Animation to animate the motion of assemblies.

  • Add motors to drive the motion of one or more parts of an assembly.
  • Prescribe the positions of assembly components at various times using set key points. Animation uses interpolation to define the motion of assembly components between key points.

Basic Motion (available in core SOLIDWORKS)

You can use Basic Motion for approximating the effects of motors, springs, contact, and gravity on assemblies. Basic Motion takes mass into account in calculating motion. Basic Motion computation is relatively fast, so you can use this for creating presentation-worthy animations using physics-based simulations.

Motion Analysis (available with the SOLIDWORKS Motion™ add-in to SOLIDWORKS Premium)

You can use Motion Analysis for accurately simulating and analyzing the effects of motion elements (including forces, springs, dampers, and friction ) on an assembly. Motion Analysis uses computationally strong kinematic solvers, and accounts for material properties as well as mass and inertia in the computations. You can also use Motion Analysis to plot simulation results for further analysis.

In addition, you can use the MotionManager toolbar to:
  • Change viewpoints.
  • Display properties.
  • Create distributable, presentation-worthy animations depicting the motion of an assembly.