Show or Hide Force Vectors

The Show / Hide Force Vectors' is a 'toggle-button' to show or hide Force Vectors.


Visibility toolbar > Display Force Vectors


Visibility toolbar > Hide Force Vectors


Add menu > Forces sub-menu > Display 'Force Vectors'

What to do:

1.Click the 'Display Kinetostatic Forces' icon in the Forces Toolbar or Forces menu, to change the state.


Force-Vectors that acts on the element

Vector Symbol: arrows with the magnitude of the force at the arrowhead.
Vector Location: radiate (a line ray) from each Joint, Cam Contact(‡), Gear-Pair Contact, and Spring.
Vector Direction: instantaneous direction of the Force
Vector Length: proportional to the magnitude of the Force acting on each Point at a Joint.

If the Vectors are too long, then change their length with the Force and Torque Vector scaling buttons, in the Feedback Area.

Balancing-Moment / Torques (†)

Moment Location: at the Pin-Joints that we assign Rotary Motors
Moment Length: proportional to the magnitude of the balance moment to make sure the kinematic-chain remains in kinematic equilibrium
Moment Direction: in the direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) of the balance moment


Motor Symbol: Symbolic View of Motor, Gear-box and ball-screw.
Force Location: at the Slide-Joint or Spring Joint that we assign a Linear Motor
Force Length: proportional to the magnitude of the force to make sure the kinematic-chain remains in kinematic equilibrium
Force Direction: in the direction of the balance force to keep the mechanism in equilibrium.

Use the Configure Power Source dialog-box to make the Cam Contact Force active.

† Although we show a Motor Symbol, we do not assign inertia or a gearbox to the motor. Therefore, the Moments/Torques we calculate and show are the Kinetostatic Moment/Torque. These simply keep the kinematic-chain in equilibrium.

To add a motor and gearbox, and calculate the motor torques, see Kinetostatic Motor and Speed dialog.

Part and Vector colours

The colour of each Part-Outline changes from Green to a new, random colour.
The Force Vectors that act on each Part are the same as the new colour of the Part-Outline.
To identify the force vectors that ACT ON a Part, 'hover' your pointer above a Part-Outline. The Part-Outline AND the Force Vectors that act on the Part become Red.

In the Configure Power Source dialog, you can, for each Part:

Change the colour of the Vector and Part-Outline
Show or display the Force Vector

Drive Motor Location

In the default case MechDesigner puts a Drive Motor on the joint with the Motion-Dimension FB.

Use the Configure Power Source dialog-box to move the Drive Motor to a different Joint, a 2D-Cam, a Gear-Pair or a Spring


To Display Forces you must also:

2.Make sure the model has a minimum of one kinematically-defined chain
3.Add Mass to a minimum of one Part - see Solids
4.Display Part-Outlines
5.To show the Total Force and the Forces in to the X– and Y–axis directions, you can connect a Force-Data FB to a Graph-FB. You must link the Force-Data FB to a Joint select the Point in the Joint.

You can also use the Cam Display and Properties dialog to show Cam Contact Force at each point along the cam track.

See Also: Kinetostatic Torque and Speed dialog Calculate Forces,

Tutorial and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 13.2 + © Machine, Mechanism, Motion and Cam Design Software by PSMotion Ltd