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How do I animate a crankshaft?


New member
I want to animate a crankshaft making a full 360 loop and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I've tried several tutorials but no luck.

Can someone please give me a hint? Basically I just want a constant rotation from frame 0 to 360 so I can make an avi that loops.

I have mechanism and animation modules and I've tried snapshots every 45 degrees and servo motors for both Animation and mechanism (btw what's the difference).....

In the end, I'd like to be able to create drawings that show a range of different crank angles without using all kinds of simplified reps with multiple crank assemblies. That may be too much for one thread but it seems like animation and analysis drawings should be one and the same.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.


working in WF2..
Did you had any luck animating the mechanism?

When you do snap shots in animation ProE will make assumptions how the mechanism works or translates from snapshot to snapshot. Whe you use a servo motor either trough animation or motion there are no assumptios made.

To create different view that are used later in your adrawing you have two first create a snopshot or run and animation and stop it in the desire view and create sanpshot of that particular configuration then convert the snapshot to a drawing view. The drag menu to create snapshots are availabe in both animation and mechanism. See the attach picture:

View attachment 424

To create a avi file you must run the animation an then use the campture functionality. Again in both animation and mechanism the window is the same. See attach picture

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Working in Wildfire 1.0 (this should be close in 2.0) you would first assemble the crankshaft in using a pin joint and using the block as the ground.

View attachment 426

Next, go into Mechanism and create a servo motor. Click on Joint Axis and select the pin joint from the crankshaft. Set the motor up for velocity and the magnitude to be constant. I gave it 2 revolutions but you could set it for whatever you'd like.

View attachment 427

View attachment 428

Now create an analysis for the frame rate the motion will run at and make sure the servo motor is picked.

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Click on run to see if the crankshaft turns, if it's going in the wrong direction just reverse direction on the servo motor.

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Thanks to everyone for your replies. they were all very helpful.

Luis, thanks for pointing out that make drawing view. I had tried animating between snapshots but I could never get constant motion in between.

Brian, I really appreciate the detail of your explaination. It worked!