Add 2D-Cam

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Add 2D-Cam


See also: 2D-Cam dialog

We calculate for you the 2D-Cam from the relative motions of the Cam-Part and Follower-Part, together with the shape of the Cam-Follower.

Add 2D-Cam and Degrees of Freedom

Add 2D-Cam does NOT remove a degree-of-freedom.


Cam / 2D-Cam :

A Cam (2D-Cam element) is a curved profile or surface that imparts a displacement (a motion-law) to a Follower by either point or line contact with a Cam-Follower.

Cam-Part :

The Part to which you add the 2D-Cam

Cam-Follower :

The shape of the sketch-loop and Profile / Extrusion that is in continuous-contact with the 2D-Cam.

Cam-Follower Part :

The Part to which you add the the Cam-Follower.

2D-Cam: Work-flow

1.Add a 2D-Cam - see Machine elements toolbar > Add 2D-Cam

If the new 2D-Cam is one from a pair of Conjugate-Cams, or it is one flank of a Groove-Cam

1.a. Add a Conjugate-Cam FB - see Machine elements toolbar > Add Conjugate Cam FB

1.b. Edit the Conjugate-Cam FB to select least two 2D-Cams - see Conjugate-Cam dialog.

2.Select a 2D-Cam or a Conjugate-Cam FB as the Power Source for the Follower - see Configure-Power Source

3.Review the 2D-Cam : Display, Properties, Roller-Life, Cam-Life, ... - see 2D-Cam dialog

4.Add a Cam-Data FB - see Kinematic FBs > Add Cam-Data FB

5.Edit the Cam-Data FB to link it to the 2D-Cam- - see Cam-Data dialog : Cam Analysis

6.Connect wires from the Cam-Data FB to a Graph FB to analyse 5 parameters - see Cam-Data dialog : Cam Analysis

7.Edit the Cam-Data FB again to calculate the Cam's Coordinates - see Cam-Data dialog : Cam-Coordinates

Prepare to add a 2D-Cam (typical)

Preparation for Add 2D-Cam

Preparation for Add 2D-Cam

The elements you need in the model before you do Add 2D-Cam:

Cam-Part Red-14-1 - any Part that is kinematically-defined

Follower-Part Red-14-3 - any other Part that is also kinematically-defined

Cam-Follower Red-14-2 - a Profile in the Follower-PartRed-14-3

The Cam-Part usually moves, but it may be stationary.

The Follower Part usually moves, but it may be stationary.

The Cam-Part and the Follower Part must move relative to each other.

The Cam-Part and Follower-Part are usually in different kinematic-chains, but this is not necessary.

See also Shape of the Cam-Follower.

Add 2D-Cam:


STEP 1: Click Add 2D-Cam

Add 2D-Cam icon

1.Mechanism-Editor: Add menu > Mechanism menu  > Add 2D-Cam


1.Mechanism-Editor: Machine-elements toolbar > Add 2D-Cam

The command-manager indicates you need to select two elements.


STEP 2: Select the two elements

Element 1 is the Cam-Part

1.Click the Part-Outline Red-14-1 in the graphic-area, or the Part element in the Assembly-Tree.

Element 2 is the Cam-Follower in the Follower-Part

2.Click the ProfileRed-14-2 in the graphic-area or the Profile element in the Assembly-Tree


STEP 3: Complete the Command

3.Command-Manager: Click OK-tiny-11-15 in the Command-Manager.



Result : Graphic-Area

The Inner and Outer 2D-Cams show in the graphic-area.



Result : Assembly-Tree

There is a Cam-PlateRed-14-2 as a child to the PartRed-14-1 to which you add 2D-CamRed-14-3.

The 2D-CamRed-14-3 is a child to the Cam-PlateRed-14-2.


The icon for the 2D-Cam in the Assembly-Tree provides a warning that it may be “Bad Cam”!

We base the warning for you on the Cam's Radius-of-Curvature as a percentage of the Follower's Radius. You can set warning limit.

The default warning limit is specified in the Application Settings - see here

You can specify a warning limit for each 2D-Cam - see 2D-Cam dialog

YOU must make sure the cam is suitable for your needs, even if it is a “Good Cam”.


“Good Cam”


“Bad Cam”


Next Steps:

If Force-Analysis is important

Configure the Power-Source and select the 2D-Cam - see Configure Power-Source

Add Mass-Properties to the important Parts in the model - see CAD-Line dialog

Add Force Data FB to plot Torques, Forces over a machine-cycle - see Force-Data FB, Add Spring FB

If the Cam-Part is actually a Cam-Shaft, then edit Motor - see Servo-motor and Gearbox

Edit the 2D-Cam

Select and edit the 2D-Cam to open the 2D-Cam dialog.

You can display its Pitch-Curve, edit its color, the thickness of the cam-profile, ...

You can estimate the Roller-Life and Cam-Life.

Analyse the Cam over a Machine-Cycle  the 2D-Cam to

Add and edit Cam-Data FB and link it to the 2D-Cam you want to analyse - see Add Cam-Data FB and Cam-Data FB dialog : Cam Analysis

Analysis parameters include: Maximum Shear-Stress, Contact-Force, Radius-of-Curvature, Pressure-Angle, Sliding-Velocity

Calculate and export the Cam-Coordinates in different formats

Add and edit a Cam-Data FB , edit link it to the 2D-Cam you want the Cam-Coordinates - - see Add Cam-Data FB and Cam-Data FB dialog Cam-Coordinates

Calculate the Cam Coordinates as XY-Points or Biarcs.

Export the Cam Coordinates as TXT, DXF, STEP, or export the Points or Biarcs directly with SolidWorks

Video (EN):


Video: Add 2D-Cam