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How to find Center Of Mass in SolidWorks?

The Solidworks Center of Mass feature will save you time in the design process while ensuring that your product is built correctly. You need to know how to find center of mass in Solidworks. The center of mass property is an undervalued reference dimension. Many Solidworks users use it to determine where the majority of the weight is. The center of mass can decide if weight needs to be added, subtracted, or items reorganized to achieve the desired balance. For example, you can use a Solidworks center of mass to design a shipping cradle for a part to help balance a load. You can also use it to improve a race car’s performance by keeping its weight low and central, making it easier to control G-forces.

You can use Solidworks’ center of mass feature in assemblies and drawings. In drawings, the center of mass is a selectable entity referenced to create dimensions. In a drawing, you can reference dimensions between the center of mass points and geometric entities like points and edges. You can save your settings to see the center of mass, which is automatically updated after each model rebuild.

When modeling a part or assembly, finding the center of mass of your model may be necessary for some aspects of your design. Instead of manually calculating the center of mass, let SolidWorks determine the center for you! Using the center of mass tool in tandem with reference geometry, you can quickly find the center of mass in various situations, even if the model you are working with is asymmetrical or irregularly shaped.

How To Find Center Of Mass In Solidworks 

Solidworks makes it simple to calculate design model properties like mass, density, volume, and center of mass. In this article, I’ll show you how to find center of mass in Solidworks using the appropriate command tools, as well as some recommendations on how to get the most accurate values.

There are various methods to find the center of mass in Solidworks.

Method 1

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To access the center of mass, click on the features tab and click reference,  and then, under the reference drop-down, select the center of mass.

You can measure the center of mass (COM) point for all entities in Solidworks. You can show and reference a COM point in drawings of parts or assemblies that contain one. Click Center of Mass (Reference Geometry toolbar) or Insert > Reference Geometry > Center of Mass to add a COM point. In the graphics area, it appears at the model’s center of mass. The Center of Mass appears just below Origin in the FeatureManager design tree. When the model’s center of mass changes, the position of the COM point updates. The position of the COM point, for example, changes as you add, move and delete features in part. 

You can calculate distances and add reference dimensions between the center of the mass point and entities like vertices, edges, and faces, but you can’t create driving dimensions from the center of the mass point. However, creating a Center of Mass Reference (COMR) point can define the driving dimensions. 

A center-of-mass reference point is a reference point created at the part’s current center of mass. The FeatureManager design tree represents the center of mass of all the features above it. COMR point observations:

To make a center of mass reference point, do the following:

In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click the Center of Mass and select Center of Mass Reference Point. The Center of Mass Reference Point is added as the next feature in the FeatureManager design tree.

The Reference Point appears in the graphics area at the current center of mass. The Center of Mass initially obscures the icon; when you add more features to a part, the center of mass shifts and becomes visible.

You can also design measurement sensors that reference COM and COMR points. Go to Tools > Evaluate > Performance Evaluation to see how COM and COMR points affect model rebuild time; go to Tools > Evaluate > Performance Evaluation.

Method 2

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Step 1: To begin, open the mass properties dialog box from the Tools pull-down menu (Tools > Evaluate > Mass Properties).

Step 2: Select Mass Properties from the Evaluate tab. It opens a new dialog box. If you’ve never used this feature before, it’s excellent to see the mass, surface area, and center of mass. A checkbox is located near the top of the Crete Center of Mass feature. You can verify that and then exit the mass properties. The “evaluate features” shown below are helpful. Once the weight of a component is known, you can use the measuring tool and mass properties to determine the other properties. The center of mass can also help meet design requirements determined by specific dimensions or weight specifications.

Method 3

Another way to find the center of mass is to override the existing center of mass. To override the calculated values, you can enter values for the coordinates of the Center of Mass (COM) point. The center of mass is helpful when you want to show the correct position of the center of mass in a simplified model representation. To override the COM point coordinates, do the following:

 

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Step 1: In the Tools toolbar, select the Mass Properties Tool or Tools > Evaluate > Mass Properties.

Step 2: Select “Override Mass Properties” from the Mass Properties dialog box.

Step 3: Click the “Override Mass Properties” button. Select Override center of mass, then enter values for X, Y, and Z coordinates. As defined in, optionally, select a coordinate system that you have previously described. 

Step 4: Click OK to close the Mass Properties dialog box.

The image below, for example, depicts an industrial pressure switch modeled as a single solid part. In reality, the controller is housed in a hollow enclosure with a heavy-duty pressure connection protruding from the side. The center of the mass point of the solid part is shown near the enclosure’s center. Because the section is hollow, you know the system-calculated center of mass is incorrect. You determine more realistic coordinates for the center of mass point outside the Solidworks application. The system-calculated coordinates are then overridden with your more realistic values.

Conclusion

In this article, I explained how to find center of mass in Solidworks and examined its capabilities and use. This feature can be both automated and manual. I hope you found this article helpful and that you were able to get started.