I've got a real problem on my hands. I need to animate a chain that moves along a path. No big deal--I created a single surface for each link to stick on, mate the links to the surface and one another, front planes of each link coincident to the front plane of the assembly, and everything ought to work fine. If I drag a link in the chain, the only possible logical thing the chain can do is follow where I drag the link.
No problem, right?
What happens is that this:
Quickly turns into this:
Can you see what happened? The links of the chain flipped around 180° onto themselves, even though this isn't possible with the mates they were given. To make this worse, Undo doesn't actually undo the drag-based move, so to fix this, the mates must actually be deleted and reapplied. LAME.
If the basic rules of motion as governed by the mates won't work in SolidWorks, they certainly won't work in Animator.
I've posted the assembly/part files here for folks to mess with if they like. The path part is currently a solid, though I've tried a surface instead, only to get the same results. The elements of the path were two arcs joined by two lines--but I used the Fit Spline tool to create a single, seamless surface so the path would work with the mates all the way around.
This is exasperating. Does anyone know of any tweaks to my method that might actually work?