Use the Tracers tool to visualize the path of a trace point during a motion run.

After a path is drawn, it can be used for geometry creation and modification. You can synthesize shapes (like cams) from the part's motion by choosing to draw the path on a moving reference frame.

Location: Motion ribbon, Run group

Click the satellite icon that appears when you hover over the Tracers tool to view a list of all tracers in your model.

Create and View a Tracer

  1. Select the Tracers tool.

  2. Select a trace point to act as the pen.
  3. Optional: Hold the Ctrl key to select a reference point to act as the paper.
  4. Run the motion analysis, or if a run already exists, the trace path will appear.
  5. Optional: To see a partial trace path of the last ten frames during animation, select Enable Trail in the Property Editor. Adjust the trail Frames value to lengthen or shorten the trace path.
  6. Optional: To see a full trace path for the last valid motion run, enter the Tracers tool or use the Review Motion Results tool and view the last step in the animation.
  7. Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.
  • If you move tracers with the Move tool on the microdialog, the traced paths will update automatically.
  • Tracers are associated with part features. The tracer may be deleted if changes are made to the part feature or geometry associated with it.
  • Tracers can be hidden or shown by clicking their icons in the Model browser or by using the context menu.
  • You can change the color and line thickness of the tracer and its trace path in the Property Editor.
  • The Export Locations option in the context menu allows you to save a .csv file containing global x, y, z location data.
  • You can Suppress/Unsuppress a tracer to understand its effect on your model. Right-click it and select Suppress. Right-click it from the Model Browser or Table and select Unsuppress.

Creating Geometry from a Trace Path

  1. Create a tracer and run a motion analysis.
  2. Right-click on the tracer and select Create Spline from the context menu. A massless part is created in the Model Browser. This part can now be pushed, pulled, and otherwise manipulated.
  • To create valid splines, make sure the trace path does not loop back over itself. Try reducing the End Time to control how far the trace path extends.
  • Alternatively, you can create a polyline by selecting Create Polyline from the context menu. Polylines are segmented rather than smooth line spline curves.
  • Multiple selection is supported if you have multiple trace paths that you want to convert to splines or polylines.
  • If you want to keep a tracer for future use, ground the spline that you created or add it to a rigid group.

Tracers Table

The Tracers Table lists all of the tracers in your model and allows you to edit various attributes.

Location: Tracers tool, satellite icon

Figure 1. Tracers Table
To Do this
Rename a tracer Select the cell in the table and then click again to make the field editable.
Change the color Select the color cell in the table and then select a different option from the color palette.
Sort a column Click the column header. Click repeatedly to toggle between ascending and descending order.
Add or remove columns Right-click on a column header.


To Do this
Select a reference part While a tracer is selected, hold down the Ctrl key and left-click a part to act as the paper.
Exit the tool Right-click and mouse through the check mark to exit, or double-right-click.