I often hear customers designing mechanical components say something like “I have assembly design constraints and don’t think I need Kinematics.” The truth is, you may not need them – if you design items that do not move. Kinematics is the study of motion, and even with the standard CATIA V5 Assembly Design constraints, you are limited to a single movement based on a given set of constraints by holding down the right mouse button when using the compass to move an item (holding down the right mouse button respects constraints already applied) or you have the option to check the button in the Manipulate dialog With respect to constraints.
Below is an example of what can be done with simple assembly constraints and the manipulator and where its limitations are.
What if you needed more than one movement to happen at the same time? That is where Kinematics will help. With CATIA V5 Kinematics, you have many, many options for setting up motion. Each grouping of given movements would be called a mechanism, and within the mechanism you would have joints. CATIA V5 offers every kind of joint I can think of and I have yet to run across anything else I would need.
The joints are groupings of your constraints that can then be controlled by commands; they are very simple to set up. The freedom to have anything move at any given time! In fact, if you already have constraints defined in your assembly, it has a slick converter option to re-use the work you already have done and add your constraints to joints! Below is just a simple mechanism with multiple joints defined being played to show how the toy excavator product works.
Although this is a simple mechanism, the Kinematics package has the ability to do so much more….like analyze the travel of a particular joint and check if the limits have been reached. If you combine the Kinematics package with the CATIA V5 Space Analysis license you will have the ability to check for clash and clearance between moving parts – which is exactly what most customers need to do! Add in a CATIA V5 DMU Navigator license and you can animate your sections – how cool is that?!
Bottom line: if you need motion and need to know how your motion affects other parts in your assembly, contact us and we will get you moving in the right direction!