Joe Galliera

Solvers used for Animation, Basic Motion & Motion Analysis

Blog Post created by Joe Galliera Employee on Feb 8, 2010
I ran into a few people at SolidWorks World 2010 in Anaheim last week who all asked me similar questions about the differences between the animation and motion capabilities in the various SolidWorks modules, namely: Animation, Basic Motion and Motion Analysis.

Animation.jpg
The major difference is in what you can get out of it, so it is good to find out each what each is capable of so that you can determine for yourselves which is the right one to use.  A nice feature is that the interface pretty much stays the same, and changing from one type of output to the other might only take changing the solver type (as listed above).

Animation (or Assembly  Motion) uses the 3DDCM (3D Dimensional Constraint Manager) from  D-Cubed.
The 3DDCM is  commonly used to position the parts in an assembly or mechanism. Fast, fully  three-dimensional, non-sequential solving and comprehensive geometry, dimension  and constraint support enables designers to build, modify and animate the most  demanding of assemblies and mechanisms efficiently.
Use Animation to create simple animations that use interpolation to specify point-to-point motion of parts in assemblies.

Basic Motion (or Physical  Simulation) uses Ageia PhysX.
Ageia PhysX is a physics solver  primarily used in games. It simulates how objects move and react, how they  behave. It simulates life-like motion and interaction. With its Ageia PhysX,  SolidWorks Physical Simulation focuses on making the simulation look  real.
You can use Basic Motion for approximating the effects of motors, springs, collisions, 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 (or SolidWorks Motion) uses the ADAMS  solver.
The ADAMS solver can analyze the complex behavior of  mechanical assemblies.  With this solver, Motion focuses on accurately analyzing the forces, torques, contact forces, power consumption and so on in  your mechanism.  You can plot any of the resultant kinematic quantities over time (or versus other parameters) in the analysis.
SolidWorks Motion comes in the top level of our design software, SolidWorks Premium, and is also included in both SW Simulation Professional & Simulation Premium.  You must first turn on the Add-In before using Motion Analysis.
You can use Motion Analysis to accurately simulate and analyze the motion of an assembly while incorporating the effects of Motion Study elements (including forces, springs, dampers, and friction). A Motion Analysis study combines motion study elements with mates in motion calculations. Consequently motion constraints, material properties, mass, and component contact are included in the SolidWorks Motion kinematic solver calculations. A Motion Analysis study also calculates loads that can be used to define load cases for structural analyses.

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Do not distribute or reproduce without the written consent of  Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

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