Make It Move with SOLIDWORKS Part 3: Motion Simulation

[fa icon="calendar"] April 24, 2017 / by Robbie Hoyler

This is the final installment to the Make It Move with SOLIDWORKS series where we cover the last technique for making things move – Motion Simulation. Motion Simulation is the most powerful and detailed method of making your designs move in SOLIDWORKS because you can simulate gravity, friction, and forces while getting useful outputs such as motor torque curves, motion profiles, sensors, and several other unique capabilities.


In this video, I use the same robot from FIRST Robotics Team 3506 YETI to fire a foam projectile into a target given a constant release angle, distance to the target, constant height of the target, and weight of the projectile.

You have all probably seen these equations before:


Kinematic motion is easy to calculate with enough time and patience to do it over and over for different angles of release and distances to the target but who has that kind of time?  I want to simply fire a ball and see if the robot scores or not and I want to know what speed to run the flywheels to get the ball to the goal at a given distance.  If the robot gets closer or farther from the target I can adjust the flywheel speed to score the perfect shot every time.  It sounds like a pain but it is actually pretty easy in SOLIDWORKS.  Just model the goal, the ground, and where you want the ball to start (in my case the exit point of the robot), give it a nice robot powered kick, and let gravity take over.  This technique should make that trebuchet in your back yard shoot farther than ever.  Wait, you don’t have one of those? 

Since this is the last installment (or is it?) of the Make It Move with SOLIDWORKS series leave us some comments on the YouTube video posted below to see more content like this and check out our other installments on the TPM Solutions YouTube channel under our Three Minute Thursdays!


Robbie Hoyler

Written by Robbie Hoyler

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