Utilizing Motion Studies for more than just motion
Motion studies are a great tool inside of SOLIDWORKS to bring your assemblies to life, they allow you to utilize real world conditions like gravity, connections and other physics based motion attributes to give your animations a realistic look while also delivering analysis for greater insight into validating the motion of your project.
In our case motion studies are a great tool for rendering animations using SOLIDWORKS Visualize, utilizing the SOLIDWORKS Visualize add-in and SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional we can automatically transfer motion studies from SOLIDWORKS to Visualize Professional in the press of a button to have all of our motion automatically key-framed and ready for rendering. Having this ability is a massive time saver and allows us to get motion results that would be very difficult to key-frame by hand, did someone say GRAVITY!
But what if I don’t have SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional or an Animation?
Sometimes your project doesn’t necessarily have motion but you want to be able to portray a model in its natural position for a still frame render, you can do this in motion studies utilizing materials and gravity. Now, this is easy with SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional, simply setup the motion study, import it into Visualize, and select a frame from the timeline you would like to render as a still image.
But what about SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard? I have no ability to import motion studies or setup animations, how to I get the results I need?
Well there is a tip that we at Javelin have discovered that can help with this; although this tip might be closer to a hack, I’ll let you decide.
Set your assembly to flexible
The first thing you need to do is open the assembly you want to render in SOLIDWORKS, as an example I have a coffee tray setup and I want the spoon and sugar cubes to look like they are in a relatively realistic position.
For this trick to work select the assembly that will have the motion applied to it and set it to flexible, in this case the cutting board assembly.
Next you need to open the assembly you just made flexible and add motion, for this example I have already created a motion study to show the spoon and sugar cubes in a more realistic position using gravity.
If you switch back to the original top level assembly you can see that nothing has changed, this is expected.
The next step is to turn off the flexible option on the assembly that we have added motion to.
You should now see the assembly motion be applied at whichever frame of the motion you selected from your motion assembly, the last step is to make the assembly flexible one last time. This will stop the assembly from resetting to its original state during rebuild. You can test this by rebuilding your assembly and if the assembly with motion does not reset, then you are good.
Export to SOLIDWORKS Visualize
You can now use the SOLIDWORKS Visualize add-in to send our assembly directly to SOLIDWORKS Visualize, it doesn’t matter which method you use (Simple or Advanced) this method should work for both.
And that’s it, you should now see the correct part locations in your Visualize project and can start setting up your photo-realistic render!
If you want to dive into this technique a little more or see a step by step video version click on the video below:
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