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CAD Translation

You can translate a CAD assembly into a SimMechanics™ model for simulation and analysis. This process is called CAD translation. By translating a CAD assembly into a SimMechanics model, you leverage the strengths of your CAD platform with the strengths of SimMechanics software. You can modify any model that you translate—for example, adding actuators and sensors—to fit the needs of your application. CAD translation is especially useful for control system design.

CAD Translation Steps

CAD translation is a two-step process. First, you export a CAD assembly in XML format. Then, you import the XML file into SimMechanics. SimMechanics uses the XML file to automatically generate a model that replicates the original CAD assembly. If the CAD assembly contains only supported constraints, CAD import requires no additional work on your part. Once SimMechanics generates your model, you are ready to simulate and analyze that model. The table summarizes the two CAD translation steps.

Translation StepDescription
CAD ExportGenerate XML import file from CAD assembly
CAD ImportGenerate SimMechanics model from import files

You must export a CAD assembly before you import it into SimMechanics. The schematic shows the CAD translation step sequence. A CAD assembly is the starting point of CAD translation. Exporting that assembly in XML format and importing the resulting XML file into SimMechanics produces an equivalent SimMechanics model.

Software Requirements

The table provides the software requirements for CAD translation. The requirements depend on the CAD translation step—export or import. For example, a CAD platform is a requirement only for CAD export.

SoftwareNotesCAD ExportCAD Import
CAD Platform  
MATLAB®Registration as computing server required
SimMechanics  
SimMechanics Link  

The software requirements for CAD translation are optimized for cooperation between CAD and SimMechanics engineers. A CAD engineer can export the CAD assembly without an active SimMechanics installation. Likewise, a SimMechanics engineer can import the CAD assembly without an active CAD platform installation.

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