Create Animation Constraint
KeyCreator \ Tools \ Animation \ Create-Animation-Constraint

Location: Animation>Create Animation Constraint

The first step in producing a KeyCreator Animation is to define which animation bodies will be involved in the animation and what type of motion is desired. The Animation Constraint function will accomplish both of these tasks. Note that only KeyCreator solid bodies can have Animation Constraints and that any KeyCreator Feature, Structural or Mechanical Objects should be created as solid objects (uncheck the Setup>Create as Feature Objects prior to Animation.) There are several different types of constraints which produce unique motions for a given body about another body .
Typically the first constraint setup would be a fixed constraint on a body ( much like an anchor point) to which other animation constrained bodies will be added.  Complex motions can be achieved by adding constraint bodies to other predefined constraint bodies (creating an assembly motion effect.) Insure that the bodies are all at there 'starting positions' prior to adding the constraints.

 Any Animation Constraint defined for a body will be viewable in the Animation Tab of the Part Splitter. Future edits of the constraint can be performed using the Tools>Animation> Edit Animation Constraint or by right clicking the constraint in the Animation Tab. All Animation constraints will be retained within a ckd file when the file is saved. A mating label is created for the constraint, deleting it will delete the constraint. The default level for the label can be set using Tools\Application Options \Mechanical.
NOTE: The constraints used in Animation are not used for mating but purely an Animation  Function.

 

Animation Constraint Types

Ball and Socket

This constraint will effectively mate an orbital body to another body allowing 360 degree movement by means of the addition of an angular motor type of constraint (Hinge would typically be used) or by using the Interactive Animation function.

Hinge

This constraint is used to define motion from a given base point and along the axis of the dependent motion body. Typically the hinge movement will be in relation to a fixed constraint body. Most hinge motions will be ungrounded, will allow collision, have an angular motor applied and have upper/lower angular limit.

Slider

This constraint provides a linear slide motion of the dependent solid along a fixed solids path. Setup typically involves allowing for collision, setting a linear motor and limits and possibly an angular motor with limits. This animation is typically seen in pick and place machinery motion.

Fixed

This constraint provides a way of defining a non-mobile body which will serve as an anchor for other mobile bodies. The single option provides a means to anchor the bodies current orientation and location or unchecked keep the bodies orientation and location with respect to another solid object.

Gear

This constraint is added after having first defined a motorized constraint body (such as a gear solid with a hinge constraint applied at mid axis point) with a provided ratio input.

 

General Options for Constraint Types

Grounded-  A means to define a body as being non-mobile to its current orientation and location (checked on) or unchecked, define the Grounded position by means of base point and axis of another solid.

Allow Collisions Between Constrained Solids- Allows movement to occur in cases where constraint solids either meet or are within the collision threshold. The mass and density of animation solids will not be taken into account when determining collision. Unchecked will result in no movement when collision is detected. There is an additional all inclusive check box for this in the Calculate Animation>Setup tab (which would take precedence over the individual constraint setting.)

Angular Motor- Provides a means to start and maintain non linear motion.

Motor Speed-  Provides a control setting for the rate of motion for a given constraint animation. Input is in degrees per second. A relatively small mold slide (9X8X5 inches) for example would have a low speed (approximate range of 0.30-1.0) while a pick and pull slide action would have a slightly higher speed (1.5 for example.) In most cases a bit of trial entry will be necessary to achieve desired results.

Motor Strength- Motor strength is calculated based on impulse per simulation frame which involves many background calculations. In general the larger the mass of the object the more the motor strength needs to be. For the examples mentioned in motor speed input could be 1,000.00 for example.

Intermittent- Provides a pause mechanism for the constraint animation as a ratio of the duration of the animation.

Linear Motor- Provides a means to start and maintain linear motion for the animation calculation. The above apply for the motor speed, strength (using part unit values instead of degrees) and intermittent settings.

Angular and Linear Limit- Sets upper and lower travel values for the animation calculation. The angular limit input is in degrees while the linear input is in part unit values.

Gear Constraint-

Gear Ratio- The revolution of the motorized solid in relation to the 'Gear' constraint solid. A factor of 1 would give a 1 to 1 movement while input of 3 would move motorized solid 3X the speed of the 'Gear' constraint solid.

Using the Constraints

Ball and Socket Constraint
  1. Choose Tools>Animation>Create Animation Constraint>Ball and Socket, which brings up the Ball and Socket setup dialog.
  2. In most cases Grounded will be unchecked and allow collisions between constrained solids will be checked, choose OK to begin the process of adding the constraint to constraint solids.
  3. The conversation bar prompts for the independent solid, choose the passive (static body) and then choose the dependent solid (the solid that will receive future motion.)
  4. Select the base point of the constraint which will be the pivot point of the Ball and Socket constraint.
  5. Place the constraint label and repeat the process if you are adding multiple Ball and Socket constraints (choose backup to re-open the Ball and Socket dialog) or choose Esc button to end constraint session.
  6. Open the Part Splitter Animation Tab and expand the Constraint and Animation Bodies to see the constraint and applicable settings as well as the solid bodies for the given constraint.
  7. In this tab you can modify the behavior of the constraint (such as checking on Allow collisions or checking on the Movement option for an active constraint body) or using the right click context menu items.)
  8. In most cases after setting up the Ball and Socket constraint an angular motor constraint (such as Hinge or Slider) will be setup on the active motion solid to provide actual motion along the ball and socket axis point.
  9. View the animation by choosing Tools>Animation>Calculate Animation (use settings as needed in this dialog) and then choose Calculate Animation.
Hinge Constraint

In many Hinge constraint animation scenarios a passive (Fixed) solid constraint will need to be defined that the active hinge solid will rotate about.

  1. Choose Tools>animation>Create Animation Constraint>Hinge, which opens the Hinge constraint setup dialog.
  2. Typical setup will be unchecked Grounded, checked Allow collisions between constrained solids, checked Angular Motor (and input for speed and strength) and Angular Limit (input for upper/lower limit as needed.)
  3. Choose OK which bring up a conversation bar prompt for the independent solid (the passive solid), the dependent solid (the active solid), the base point for the hinge constraint and axis (hinge constraint solid will rotate about the base and axis points.) Choose the location for the Hinge Constraint label and repeat as necessary, use Backup to access the Hinge dialog or choose Esc to complete the Hinge constraint.
  4. Open the Part Splitter Animation Tab and expand the Constraint and Animation Bodies to see the constraint and applicable settings as well as the solid bodies for the given constraint.
  5. In this tab you can modify the behavior of the constraint by modifying cell input (such as checking on Allow collisions, editing the Motor Speed/Strength or checking on the Movement option for an active constraint solid) or using the right click context menu items.
  6. View the animation by choosing Tools>Animation>Calculate Animation (use settings as needed in this dialog) and then choose Calculate Animation.
Slider Constraint

In many Slider constraint scenarios a passive (Fixed) solid constraint will need to be defined that the active slide solid will animate along.

  1. Choose Tools>Animation>Create Animation Constraint> Slider, which opens the Slider constraint setup dialog.
  2. Setup for the Slider constraint will vary depending on the type of slide action needed. After setup input is complete choose OK.
  3. A conversation bar prompts for the following; independent solid (passive solid), dependent solid (active slide solid), base point for constraint (slide action start point) and the axis for the slide constraint. Once complete place the Slider constraint label and repeat as needed, use Backup to access the Slider Constraint dialog or choose Esc to end the constraint session.
  4. Open the Part Splitter Animation Tab and expand the Constraint and Animation Bodies to see the constraint and applicable settings as well as the solid bodies for the given constraint.
  5. In this tab you can modify the behavior of the constraint by modifying cell input (such as checking on Allow collisions, editing the Motor Speed/Strength or checking on the Movement option for an active constraint solid) or using the right click context menu items.
  6. View the animation by choosing Tools>Animation>Calculate Animation (use settings as needed in this dialog) and then choose Calculate Animation.
Fixed Constraint
  1. Choose Tools>Animation>Create Animation Constraint>Fixed, which opens the Fixed constraint dialog.
  2. Choose grounded if the solid will be defined as being stationary in relation to its present Cplane position or uncheck to define a fixed position in relation to another solid. Choose OK when done.
  3. In the case of Fixed/ungrounded the conversation bar prompts for the independent solid (the reference solid that the Fixed solid will use as an 'anchor point'), the dependent solid (the fixed constraint solid) and a base point for the constraint. When Grounded is checked a prompt for the constraint solid and base point will occur. Once complete place the constraint label and repeat as needed, use Backup to open the Fixed constraint dialog or end the session by choosing Esc.
  4. Open the Part Splitter Animation Tab and expand the Constraint and Animation Bodies to see the constraint and applicable settings as well as the solid bodies for the given constraint.
  5. In this tab you can modify the behavior of the constraint by modifying cell input (such as checking on Allow collisions) or using the right click context menu items.
Gear Constraint

In most cases this constraint will be linked to a previously defined motorized constraint solid.

  1. Choose Tools>Animation>Create Animation Constraint>Gear, which opens the Gear constraint dialog.
  2. Decide what Gear Ratio (explained above in the General Options section) should be applied and choose OK when done.
  3. The conversation bar will prompt for the independent solid (the motorized constraint solid), the dependent solid (the Gear constraint solid), the base point and axis along the first constraint solid and the base point and axis along the second solid. Once complete place the constraint label, repeat as needed, use Backup to open the Gear constraint dialog or end the session by choosing Esc.
  4. Open the Part Splitter Animation Tab and expand the Constraint and Animation Bodies to see the constraint and applicable settings as well as the solid bodies for the given constraint.
  5. In this tab you can modify the behavior of the constraint by modifying cell input (such as adjusting Gear Ratio)) or using the right click context menu items. In most cases insure that Collision is checked on for the two selected solids as well as the Moves check boxes.
  6. View the animation by choosing Tools>Animation>Calculate Animation (use settings as needed in this dialog) and then choose Calculate Animation.