SolidWorks - Properly Mating and Animating Human-Like Joints - Needing Assistance

I am seeking a solution to the following issue and I am providing as much info as possible in hopes that it will allow someone to help my situation more specifically.

This past year, I made a Transformer toy in SolidWorks, and to this day I regret trying to use Ball and Socket joints instead of rolling-hinge joints.
The reason being, was that about the only relevant mates I found that would work for positioning things such as the Arms' relative position to the Torso were the Angle, Advanced Angle, and Limit Angle Mates.

Furthermore, SolidWorks becomes over-defined if there are more than two angle mates between any two given bodies.

If you look at your upper arm and move it around, you will notice that from your shoulder, you can rotate it about 2 axis, and twist it about a 3rd.
In SolidWorks, you could never define the 3rd without issue; because of this, it would allow parts of the assembly to basically flop around.

More troubling though, was the fact that you could have the model in the orientation you desired, and you could save the model and close it, but when I re-opened it, some of my angle mates were flipped 180 degrees.

Then, when trying to animate the assembly, I discovered that angle mates are not allowed to have a negative value. So if I wanted to rotate something in the opposite direction, I would have to flip the mate, and thus create a mess of my assembly.

In the end, as a result of all these issues, for the animation of the model, all the parts had to be dragged into position by hand, and the result is choppy and nothing like what I wanted it to be. To me, it's like I had to settle for something worse than terrible, because I wanted to have the Transformer perform a front-flip during the transformation...... I think Dessault Systems would have laughed at that idea.

I have animated models in the past using Inventor and Lightwave, and I cannot believe how un-user friendly SolidWorks can be when it comes to animating humanoid movement and animating by changing the values of mates.

Is there any workaround in SolidWorks? Any Tips/solutions?


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1 Answer


I cant help you with solidworks, but I know that Maya, 3DS MAX and Mudbox are made for that stuff. They have realistic muscle movments built in for that very reason. Solidworks is good, but for this kind of stuff its more animation related software, which has the scope for this. The file import works well, rendering works well also.


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