What is a Trace-Point?

A Trace-Point shows, on the Mechanism Plane, the locus of a moving Point for one machine-cycle.

With special conditions, you can slowly drag the Point in the Mechanism Editor and see the Trace-point continuously update.

Add Trace-Point

Add Trace-Point

Kinematic Elements Toolbar : Add Trace-Point [left of graphics-area]


Add menu > Mechanism sub-menu > Add Trace-Point

What to do:

1.Click Add Trace-Point
2.Click a Point in the graphic-area in a kinematically-defined Chain.

If the Select Elements dialog-box opens, you have clicked more than one Point.

a.Click a Point in the Select Elements dialog-box
b.Click OK-tiny-11-15 to close the Select Elements dialog-box


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

Do Steps 1-3 again and again to show Trace-Point of other Points, as necessary.

See Special Condition below.


You should see the 'Trace of the Point' relative to the Base-Part on the Mechanism Plane.


Occasionally, you may need to use the Edit menu > Rebuild Now 'castle' icon to update the locus of the trace as you edit the model.

If you want to add a Trace-Point to show the motion of a Point in a moving Part relative to a different moving Part [that is, not relative to the Base-Part] you must add a 2D-Cam and then show its Pitch-Circle.


'Expand' then 'Play'

How to...

Add a Trace-Point



You can add many Trace-Points to the same and different Parts.
You will not see the trace of the Point if the Point does not move!
Other terms for Trace-Point include Locus, Curve, Path, Trajectory, Trace and Coupler Curve.

It is possible that the trace-point does not complete its closed path in one cycle of the MMA (a machine-cycle). In this case, use a Gearing FB to increase the number-of-cycles each kinematic-chain cycles within one MMA [machine cycle].

Special Condition

As a special condition, you can Drag Points in the Mechanism-Editor if all of these conditions are met:

IF in the Part-Editor:

a.You use Part-Editor > Add Point
[The Point cannot be a child to a different sketch-element]
b.You do not add a dimension or a constraint to the Point

AND IF in the Mechanism-Editor:

c.You add a Trace-Point to the Point

To Drag the Point more easily:

Reduce the Number-of-Steps to '30' in the Machine Setting dialog-box

- or -

Drag the Point and then keep the mouse-pointer very still until the Trace-Point moves

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