When designing new assemblies, you need to consider the package space the assembly operates in and whether components will interfere with surrounding geometry. Many CAD packages include interference checks that work in conjunction with a kinematics solution, but what if your assembly includes objects like bushings or hoses that introduce an element of flexibility or compliance to your system? Interference checking based on kinematics analysis alone won’t be able to solve these kinds of problems.

Kinematics is the branch of classical mechanics which describes the motion of points, bodies (objects), and systems of bodies without consideration of the masses of those objects nor the forces that may have caused the motion. Kinematics as a field of study is often referred to as the “geometry of motion”. Kinematics is used to describe the motion of systems composed of joined parts (multi-link systems) such as an engine, a robotic arm or the skeleton of the human body. Understanding the operating environments for intricate mechanical systems like the mechanisms in photocopiers, sliding automotive sunroofs, or aircraft wing flaps can be challenging. Many CAD tools offer kinematic solutions that help designers cycle a mechanism through its mechanical path for interference checking.Kinematics alone however, doesn’t provide all the critical information an engineer needs, such as the dynamic loads generated by moving parts that can be used to size motors for example.

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