Configure Power Source

It is important to 'Configure the Power Source' when we use a cam to move a cam-follower.

In the default case, a power-source drives the Part specified by the Motion-Dimension: thus, the cam and the cam-follower kinematic-chains each have a power-source.

We must re-configure the model so that the cam is the power source for cam-follower.

For this tutorial, we will remove the Spring Force FB.

1.Delete the Spring Force FB
2.Delete the wire that connects the Linear-Motion FB to the Motion-Dimension FB

A Stationary Rocker 'driven' by a Cam


Add a Cam-Follower Roller to the end of the Rocker.

To add the Cam-Follower Roller: Edit the Rocker Part, Add a Circle, constraints and dimensions, Close the Part-Editor, Add a Profile to the Circle.

The Cam-Follower Profile:

Weighs 10N (a mass ~1kg)
centre-of-mass (the centre of the Circle) is 200mm, horizontally, from the Rocker Pin-Joint


The image shows a 'close up' view of the end of the Rocker

Note: there are now three 'dowel symbols' – each identifies the position of the Centre-of-Mass of each Extrusion. The three dowel Symbols1s-red2s3s are the::

1r centre-of-mass of the original Profile (1kg, @100,0)

2r centre-of-mass of the Cam-Follower Roller Profile (1kg,@200,0)

3r centre-of-mass (or centre-of-Gravity) of all the Profiles in the Part / Rocker (2kg, @150mm). It has a colour that matches the colour of the Part-Outline.


Forces and Moments with a Profile (1kg @100mm) and New Cam-Follower Roller Profile (1kg @ 200mm)


Rocker has a Vertical Forces down: (1[kg] + 1[kg])* 9.81[m/s/s] = -19.62N

∴ Reaction force from the Base-Part that acts on the Rocker is 19.62N UP.


Rocker has a Clockwise Moment [-ve] of -1[kg]*9.81[m/s^2]*0.1[m] - 1[kg]*9.81[m/s^2]*0.2[m] = -2.943Nm

 Reaction Moment from the Base-Part that act on the Rocker = +2.943Nm Anti-clockwise.


Icon-Add2DCamAdd a 2D-Cam

I have de-selected 'Display Forces'  temporarily, to remove the Force Vectors, while we add the cam..

STEP 1:Add a Part that will carry the 2D-Cam.1s-red

Put the centre of the 2D-Cam vertically below the centre of the Cam-Follower Roller, at '200,-200mm'.

STEP 2:Add the Motion-Dimension FB with the Linear-Motion FB to rotate the cam-shaft.


STEP 3: Click Machine elements toolbar >Add 2D-Cam
Click the new cam-shaft1s-red [image above] and the Cam-Follower Profile2s

The 2D-Cam1s-red [left image] is circular because the Cam-Follower Roller does not move.

STEP 4: Edit the 2D-Cam to remove Cam 1 [external Cam] from the display

To remove Cam 1:

1.Double-click the Cam-track in the graphic-area to open the Cam Display and Properties dialog-box.
2.Clear the check box for Cam 1 in the Cam Visibility separator.


Give the Cam a Mass

We can add a Profile to the Cam to give it a mass.


Before we can add a Profile to a Cam, we must first add to it a Polyline.

STEP 5: Click the 'Home' key on your keyboard.
STEP 6: Click Add Polyline;
STEP 7: Click the 2D-Cam shape
STEP 8: Click OK in the Command-Manager


The Polyline of a 2D-Cam is a 'sketch-loop'. We can add a Profile to a sketch-loop

STEP 8: Click Add Profile in the Solids toolbar
STEP 9: Click the Polyline [sketch-loop]
STEP 10: Click OK in the Command-Manager


You can see the force and moment that act on the Rocker are the same as before, 19.61N and 2.942Nm, respectively.


[For convenience, I have made the mass of the 2D-Cam1s-red equal 4kg. Therefore, there is a Reaction Force from the Base-Part of 39.227N to support the Cam].

Configure the Power Source


The 'Problem'

Where is the Contact Force between the Cam and Cam-Follower? Why is the Cam-Force zero?

In the image to the left, there are two Power Source [ 2 Motors1s-red2s]

A Motor to drive the Rocker1s-red
A Motor to drive the cam-shaft2s

There is usually ONE motor to drive this mechanism! This is because:

Motor1s-red does not really exist. The cam moves the Rocker.
Motor2s is OK. It rotates the cam.


Reconfigure the Power Source to make the 2D-Cam drive the Rocker.

STEP 11: A: Right-Click the kinematic-chain with Cam-Follower 'Rocker'
B: Click the 'Configure Power Source'


STEP 12: - or -
A: Click the kinematic-chain with the Cam-Follower 'Rocker', then
B: Click Configure Power Source in the Force Toolbar.


The Configure Power Source dialog-box opens.


'Motion-Dimensions and Joints' tab:

Motion-Dimensions separator

Here, you select the Motion-Dimension for which you want to configure the Power Source.

STEP 13: Click the Mot-Dim Rocker' in the 'Motion-Dimensions' List 1s-red

'Available Motor Elements'

After you click a Motion-Dimension1s-red, a list of 'Possible Motor Elements' shows in 2s.

You can see there are two 'Possible Motor Elements':

'Pin-Joint2' – selected by default

We want to use the 2D-Cam as the 'Motor' for the kinematic-chain

STEP 14: Select 2D-Cam2s in the dialog in the Possible Motor Elements box
STEP 15: Click OK

You should see a Green tick, tick16 , next to the 2D-Cam2s element.


You should see:

1.The Motor symbol is not at the Pin-Joint of the Cam-Follower Rocker1s-red
2.Torque is not at the Cam-Follower Pin-Joint2s.

The 2D-Cam does not need a torque because it does not do useful work. The Cam simply supports Cam-Follower and Cam-Follower Roller.

3.Action and reaction forces at the Cam Surface3s
4.The Motor symbol at the cam-shaft Axis4s
5.The cam-shaft centre 'Action and Reaction Forces' have increased to 53.94N, to support the weight (mg) of the Rocker and the Cam-Follower Roller5s

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