How to Animate Spring Motion with SOLIDWORKS [VIDEO]

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated October 10, 2015


SOLIDWORKS models are generated as rigid bodies so animations cannot take into account flexibility of movement.  To accurately calculate and animate deformation based on the material properties, a SOLIDWORKS Simulation study should be created and the deformation plot can be animated.

Use In-context References

However you may wish to generate a simple animation showing moving components including a spring extending or compressing.  As animations control the positions of components, not their size dimensions, you can animate spring motion with SOLIDWORKS by connecting the spring model to other moving components using in-context references.

Animate Spring Motion with SOLIDWORKS

In-context Reference

Control spring length with a Sweep

In order to control the length of the spring, the easiest method is to create a Sweep feature with the Path sketch as a straight line for the overall height.  Then in the Twist options of the Sweep feature, you can specify “Twist Along Path” and indicate how many turns or coils are needed.

Sweep feature to generate spring

Sweep feature to generate spring

With this Path sketch linked in-context to another moving component, you can control the position of the moving component to have the spring rebuild its size and appear to compress or extend.

Spring Animation

Spring Animation

Video demonstration

Here is a video demonstrating the setup and final results of the animation.

Interested in learning more?

You can attend our two day SOLIDWORKS Motion training course either in-person in a classroom near you or live online.

Related Links

Certified SOLIDWORKS Services available from Javelin

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.