Animating Geneva Mechanism in SolidWorks

I’have been seeing lot of people talking on Geneva Mechanism over various forums and even I have been wondering myself on animating a Geneva Mechanism in SolidWorks. In the past I had used many different tricks to achieve it like gear mates or using surfaces etc.

Here is an animated view of what I have done few days back. I have been modelling some simple file to put up for this post but I recently came across SolidWorks Geneva-Device files on GrabCAD by Bobby Dyer. I would like to thank him for allowing me to use his files to create this tutorial.

Based on the requirements Geneva Mechanism can be external or Internal:


You can download the files used for this tutorial here: SolidWorks Geneva-Device files.  The important ingredient are Contact and Motion Study Properties

1. Open the “Geneva Device” assembly from the downloaded files.

2. Switch to Motion study and set the model orientation as required.

3. Change the Motion study type to “Basic Animation“.

4. Click on “Contact“.

5. Now in the Contact property manager click on the pin to keep it visible as we need to use it twice.

6. Now under components selection box, select “Index Wheel” and “Advance stop” parts.

7. You can select them from graphic area OR from feature manager tree OR motion study tree.

8. Click OK to apply the contact.

9. With Contact property manager visible, select “Index Wheel” and “Indexer” parts and click OK to apply the contact. You can now close the Contact property manager.

10. Click on “Motor“.

11. Set the motor type to “Rotary motor“. Select the cylindrical face or circular edge of “Index Wheel” or “Indexer” parts to define the direction of ( I have selected the cylindrical face of the Indexer). Set the motion function to “Constant Speed” and RPM to 30.

12. Click OK and apply the motor.

13. Now click on “Motion Study Properties“.

14. In the Motion Study Properties property manager under basic motion, set the frames per second to 30 (the larger number the more smoother motion) and set the Geometry Accuracy and 3D Contact Resolution settings to high side (move the sliders to right). This will make collision simulation more accurate and smoother motion, but requires more time to compute.

15. Click OK to set the properties.

16. Finally click on “Calculate“.

17. And now is the show time. Hit play to enjoy the show.

You can change and experiments with the settings to get a better animation. Click on save if you want to export the animation as AVI or series of pictures. You can change other settings in the save window.

14 thoughts on “Animating Geneva Mechanism in SolidWorks

  1. mahsa

    hello i have important question…..i have to assemble a complex mechanism which contains a lot of mechanical and advance mates for exmple components like gears….belt….and..etc….in this mechanism i should use geneva wheel … i do all of the above steps….but i receive an error when i run finally mechanism which says you cant run basic motion because using of mechanical and advance mates …..i really dont know what shall i do….because i m sure all of these steps were done true…..(when i assemble geneva in another place ….my geneva mechanism works true)……please help me….

    1. srinivas karuturi

      use contact groups
      while using contact in basic motion,selcet base and indexer in one group and wheel in other group and apply.
      then apply motor to cylindrical area of base ,not the shaft on its top.
      then evaluate.
      you can get it.

  2. Dilip Shenoy

    I wanted to animate my final year project. It includes conveyors, motors and sensors ? Which software do u think is preferable.? Thanks and Regards

    1. Deepak Gupta Post author

      Dilip I’ll not or can not recommend any other software other than SolidWorks. The reason is that I know the capabilities of SolidWorks (and it can handle the animation you looking for) but not others

  3. Pingback: Help with building an indexing table.

  4. cad tutorial

    Good day very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally? I’m satisfied to search out so many useful info here within the post, we want work out more techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  5. Ugur

    Thank you for your tutorial it will help me a lot. Is there anything you can tell me about structral analysis of this geneva mechanism(especially indexer pin or the bolt that fixing the pin) under affect of a constant torque on indexer? My last thesis is about geneva mechanisms, analytical and computer aided results of this.

  6. Andres


    I drew my one parts and I just followed your steps to get movement.
    It worked like a charm. Good Job!

  7. Aldrin

    I am not a good solidworks user but with the help of this post I do think that I can do it to. Those animating mechanism is very fascinating.

  8. Pingback: How to Animate a Geneva Drive in SolidWorks? « GrabCAD Blog

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