Motion along Path

As the name suggest, the post talk about creating a quick animation of part(s) along a path. The path can be open or close. And to illustrate the method, I have used very simple parts (a box and a path).

Preparing for the animation:

  1. To start, create a rectangular box of any size.
  2. For the path, you can create a new part with the path (basically a sketch) or start a new assembly, start a new part and create the path or simply create the path sketch at assembly level ( I have used the path created at assembly level by creating new part).
  3. Insert the box into the assembly containing the path (sketch). Make sure you have set the box to float in case if it is fixed by default.
  4. Position your box by applying the suitable mates. I have used one coincident mate to freeze some of the degrees of motion/freedom.
  5. Now define a path mate. Start Mate manager and under Advanced Mates, select Path Mate.
  6. For Component Vertex, select the part vertex to attach to the path (you can select any vertex as per the condition or your part placement).
  7. For Path Selection, click on selection manger. (If you have converted the path to a single spline then you just select the sketch for defining path without using the selection manager option).
  8. Switch to Select closed loop option in the selection manager.
  9. Now select the sketch defined for path (the whole sketch will get highlighted).
  10. Click OK to define the path.
  11. Under Path Constraint, select Distance along Path and set the value to 0. Keep rest of the settings unchanged.
  12. You may select/uncheck Flip dimension to change the direction.
  13. Finally click OK to define the mate and exit mate manager.
  14. Tip: Measure the full length of the path (using measure tool to define the distance value). You may also convert the path into single spline (using fit spline option). This facilitates easy selection without using the selection manager in defining path.

You have finished with doing the required steps prior to animation.

Creating the animation:

  1. Save your assembly (any location and name as desired) and switch to motion manger/study. Set the view orientation as required.
  2. Drag the timeline any time value.
  3. Now double click on the path mate. This will highlight the distance value and dimension modify window will pop up.
  4. Key the desired value and click OK to finish distance modifications.
  5. Now hit calculate and then finally you can play/save you animation.

Tip: You can hide the path if desired.

Here is the link to video: Path Mate

Enjoy playing with motion along different paths.


3 thoughts on “Motion along Path

  1. Brendan Carron

    Useful tutorial for me and good for walk-through inside the building and look around the building.

    I plan to use it for project.


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  3. Deepak Gupta Post author

    “If you face issues with part orientation not sticking or not behaving as required, try adding another path outside or inside and mate the vertex as free under Path Constraint.”


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