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Bring Your Design to Life with Animation Designer
17 Nov, 2023


Are you a creator or engineer with a passion for bringing mechanical assembly ideas to life? Animation Designer is your ultimate tool for turning those ideas into dynamic, interactive simulations. In this blog, we’ll explore how Animation Designer can revolutionize your design and development workflow, from 2D concepts to complex 3D assemblies.

Picture yourself visualizing the exact motion of your virtual designs, performing collision and clearance analysis, and creating eye-catching exploded views or animated presentations. Animation Designer helps you achieve this and much more.

  • Visualize Precise Motion: Understanding how your mechanical assemblies move better.
  • Collision and Clearance Analysis: Ensure that your designs are free from interference and collisions.
  • Create Captivating Presentations: Animated product demos and disassembly guides.

Your Workflow with Animation Designer

Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating a dynamic animation for a four-stroke engine:

Figure 1: 3D Assembly of a four-stroke engine

  1. Rigid Bodies

Firstly, we must enter the Animation Designer Application through the Application’s tab and create a motion solution from a sketch or an assembly.

You can use the Animation Navigator to view and organize motion solutions that contain the physical properties of the mechanical elements of the work part, such as joints, couplers, motors, and analytic measurements.

We define all of our model’s moving parts with the Rigid Group command. The Rigid Group Color also provides a simple method to see which of our components have already been defined. Each object has its own unique color.

Figure 2: Rigid Color group

  1. Joints

Now it’s time to define the movements that we wish to apply to create our animation.

Joints indicate how rigid groups move. Use the Joint command to connect rigid groups. You can specify joints to be fixed, revolute, sliding, cylindrical, spherical, and so on.

Use Move Body command to visualize how the already specified joints behave when you apply movement to one of the components.

  1. Motors

When you press the Play button in the Animate section, you’ll notice that no component moves. That’s because, while we’ve built the appropriate joints, we haven’t yet added any motors to the system.

Since we know that the rotation of the Crankshaft is the object that is the source of our movement, we will apply a Speed Motor to the joint of the Revolute Joint of the Crankshaft.

When the animation Play button is pressed, the engine begins to move in real time!

Don’t forget to overview your model in the Animation Navigator for the defined rigid groups and connections.

Figure 3: Animation Navigator

  1. Animation Video

We’ve reached at the final and most exciting step: the animation video.

We’ll explore camera motions, explosions, and component translucency in future posts to produce even more realistic videos that will undoubtedly capture every potential customer, but for now, let’s focus on a dynamic operating motion.

Simply select the Export Movie command, and your video will be ready in seconds.

We are all set!

Take a look at the video below for an in-depth overview of all the steps described above.

At FEAC, we trust that this blog post has been informative and beneficial to prepare top-notch Digital Twins. Should you have any inquiries and questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at support@feacomp.com.


E Elisavet Oursoula Kavoura
CAD Designer at FEAC Engineering
Mechanical Engineer M.Sc
e-mail: e.kavoura@feacomp.com
LinkedIn Profile: Eliza Kavoura