COMPONENTS OF MECHANISM
In addition to being able to assemble components using realistic degrees of freedom, mechanism also does a lot more. The typical progression to using mechanism is as follows.
Step 1 – Assemble Components
Create your assembly using mechanism connections to capture realistic degrees of freedom. These connections are covered in great detail in the upcoming lessons.
Step 2 – Modify Joint Axis Settings
Control your connections by modifying the joint axes created by the connection. This is explained in greater detail in the connection lessons individually.
Step 3 – Create Slots, Cams or Gear Pairs
Slots, Cams and Gear Pairs are special tools in mechanism that capture complex interactions between components. These will each have their own lesson.
Step 4 - Drag Components and Create Snapshots
Dynamically pull or push on components that have open DOF to see them move in the assembly. Take snapshots of your assembly at different states of motion to use in drawings or to come back to for reference.
Step 5 – Create Servo Motors or Force Motors
Servo motors and Force Motors are used to drive analysis and move your assembly on their own without using drag tools. Each of these topics will be covered in great detail in their own lessons.
Step 6 – Create and Run Analyses
Start your animations to calculate the results you are looking for. With servo motors in your assembly, you will be able to produce motion animations. With Force motors, you will be able to calculate resultant forces and other measures while the animation is running.
Step 7 – View Results and Take Measurements
Run the animation to create MPEG movies, or to calculate interference along the path of the moving objects. Create and view graphs that measure certain factors over time, such as position or force.
The table at the top of the next page lists the different connections available through the component placement window at the time you assemble in a component. In addition, the number of translational and/or rotational degrees of freedom are shown for each connection type.
2 Axes or Edges & 2 Planes, Planar Surfaces, Datum Points or Vertices
2 Axes or Edges & 2 Planes or Planar Surfaces
2 Axes or Edges
2 Planes or Planar Surfaces
2 Datum Points or Vertices
1 Datum Point and 1 Axis or Edge
2 Coordinate Systems
There are two additional connection types in the list, but they don’t fit into the categories above. These are the Rigid and General connections, and they allow you to use standard assembly placement constraints, such as Align, Mate, Insert, Tangent, etc. We will see its usage in Mechanism later.