Configure Power Source

To calculate forces correctly, you must also Configure the Power Source correctly.

We use the Configure Power Source dialog-box to make sure the correct element (for example, a Part) transfers the 'power' to each degree-of-freedom in a kinematic-chain.

Power-Source elements can be:

Motors at Joints (Linear or Rotary)

Special Case of Configure the Power Source

In MechDesigner, it is possible that the model has more Parts than the real-world application.

For example: We use Piggyback Sliders to plan and define the planar motion of a point on the Mechanism-Plane. We then add a Dyad between the Sliders and the Base-Part. The two Parts in a Dyad might represent the two links of a planar robot.  In this case, we do not need Piggyback Sliders in the 'real-world'.

When this is the case, you MUST remodel the mechanism without the Piggyback Sliders. You must also define the motions for the Parts that will actually be driven, and give the Power Source directly to these Parts and Joints. There are MechDesigner tricks that you can do to design the motions of the new mechanism. Please email for details.

tog_minusHow to open the Configure Power Source dialog-box

Note: To explore the Kinematics-Tree, you may need to rebuild the model.

Note: To explore the Kinematics-Tree, you may need to rebuild the model.

The orange squareRed-14-1b must show around the Kinematic-Chain icon KT-Kinematic-Chain-Solved-Selected

2.Right-Click the Kinematic-Chain
3.Click Configure Power SourceRed-14-2 in the pop-up menu

- or -

The orange square must show around the Kinematic-Chain icon before you right-click

2.Press the ALT+P key combination on your keyboard

The Configure Power Source dialog-box opens.

Configure Power Source for a Kinematic-Chain

There are two tabs in the dialog-box:

tog_plusPower Source tab


Motion Dimensions

Motion-Dimensions | Motor Element

Each Motion-Dimension has a default Motor-Element, which is the Joint that Motion-Dimension drives directly.

Even if the Motor Element is the same as the default, please so these steps:

1.Click a Motion-Dimension in the box

Before you do '2', below, make sure the Motion-Dimension is actively selected.

Motor Elements:

When you select a Motion-Dimension, those possible Motor Elements that can drive it show in the box below.

Possible Motor Elements include: Joints, Cams, Conjugate-Cams, and Springs, and any combination of these elements.

Each Motor Element is identified with a unique name and an icon.

2.Click, in the box at the bottom, a possible Motor Element.

When you click a Motor Element, it shows to the right of the Motion-Dimension, as the Motor Element.

Note-Pencil-20 (MD14+) If necessary, you must do Add Conjugate-Cam FB to identify a Conjugate-Cam in the model. Only then is the Conjugate Cam available as a Motor-Element

See also: Tutorial 13

If the Kinematic-Chain has two or more Motion-Parts - because it has two or more degrees-of-freedom - then you must choose the Motor Element for each Motion Dimension.

tog_plusDisplay Colors tab


Use Display Colors tab to customize the Force-Vectors that are in the graphic-area.

When you show Force Vectors, you can, for each Part:

Change the colour of each Part-Outline and Force-Vector
Show or hide the Force-Vector on the Element
Display Force-Vector
oAt the Joint
oas a Polygon of Forces
ouse the two options above
oor not to show the Force-Vectors acting on the Part

These options do not help me very much!


Tutorials and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 14.2 + © Machine, Cam, Mechanism, and Motion Design Software by PSMotion Ltd