SOLIDWORKS Composer Kinematic Links

Article by Matthew Siddall updated June 12, 2023


SOLIDWORKS Composer does not support mates like SOLIDWORKS, and SOLIDWORKS mates are not transferred to Composer during the import process. Mating relationships between actors must be re-created in Composer. Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Composer Kinematic Links.

Kinematic Links can be used to mimic SOLIDWORKS mates

In most cases, linear and rotational translations should suffice for animations.  Kinematic transforms can be used to mimic SOLIDWORKS mates; this type of transform creates parent/child links and pivot alignments between actors.

  1. Create child-parent relationships between the actors using either the “Link child to parent” tool on the Kinematic toolbar or by dragging actors into assemblies in the Assembly tree.  (Note: a child cannot have two parents)
  2. Use “Pivot transformation mode” and the other tools in the Pivot Alignment toolbar to align each child-parent group’s pivots.  In order for kinematic motions to work, a child’s pivot must be in the same alignment as its parent’s pivot, and all pivots in a chain of child-parent relationships must be aligned in the same direction.
    The child pivot’s location determines where the link will be applied and the parent’s pivot triad determines the orientation/movement of that link.
    To simplify viewing this, selecting all actors and using the “Align Pivot With World Axis” eliminates the need to keep track of a parent’s axis orientation.
  3. In the Properties pane for a selected child/parent, assign the appropriate Kinematic link type (free, pivot, linear, spherical, or rigid) and axis.  The “Show DOF” tool (degrees of freedom) can be turned on at this point from the Kinematic toolbar to display the direction of motion more easily.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Composer Kinematic Links

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Matthew Siddall

Matt is a Certified SolidWorks Expert and has been using SolidWorks since 2016. He has more than 15 years’ experience in manufacturing and fabrication, including working in the aerospace and defense industries, along with working in biomedical textiles.