How to animate a mechanical pivot?


Been using sketchup for a little bit now but very new to onclick animations.

I am trying to animate a pivot so when the central section rotates, the linkages attached follow suit and I’m not sure how to do it. I have the centre section rotating onclick but nothing else moves, I’m assuming the other groups need to be attached somehow? I hope this makes sense.

Is this extension any use:

are you attempting to create a ‘Dynamic Component’ or trying to use some other extension…

please add more details…


dynamic component however if there is a better one i would love to hear it.

i’ve attached a pic of what i’m trying to do. building a safe and would like to animate the bolt operation when the handle is turned. you can possibly see that i have the centre disc turning when i click on it but nothing is following/attached to it. i’m not even sure if this is possible in sketchup?

thanks for your help



I’ve used a plugin called MSPhysics to animate a mechanism with revolute and sliding joints and had great success:

Thank you for that. I’ll give it a go tomorrow. Cheers

I moved the topic so people who follow the DC’s thread may see it…


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They might be challenged, or scared… :grinning:

@dave5 might upload what you have?

It is all about context…

First, you need to aknowledge that SketchUp is a surface modeler, not a Simulation-Driven Design program like being used in the automotive industry etc.

Concept Design & Simulation Software for Stronger, More Efficient Designs

It is just a collection of faces and edges. You have to give it some meaning , yourself. This starts with naming your groups and components. For components, the create component dialog pops up, but not for groups.


Everything in Outliner just says “Group”

When creating groups and components, you have to take in account for the Axes at the moment of creation. You can alter it later though it is easier for components then for groups (Groups do not have the Çhange Axes option in the context menu)

The surfaces of the groups do not have colliding properties or recognise other surfaces, meaning, they can merge and go anywhere if being moved…

If you are going to create Dynamic Components, you constantly have to be aware of the Axes, so you can ‘Show component Axes’ in Model Info->Components to display the Axes of the toplevel Group or Component.

You would have to think and decide how you gonna organise the model. Nesting can cause problems with rotating, so I prefer a ‘flat’ organisation for this, I guess.

It will involve some math, though…

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Door (2).skp (592.9 KB)

as all rotations on z axis, nesting is not a problem, if more than one axis of rotation then nest each axis, or use a custom attribute to alter them simultaneously.

by placing each axis at the joins, setting the size attributes to a fixed value, can nest and reverse the rotations to suit

needed to make links same

though this is mainly done with groups, it is better to use components. So if you copied the DC the parts will come unique, whereas groups may not.


you’re a superstar, thank you very much

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Mike, As soon as I see “Contact Dealer for Pricing Details” I run :slight_smile:


I always thought: ‘room for negotiation…’
Be sure to run the right direction!