Documentation

Export an Autodesk Inventor Robot Assembly Model

In this example, you export an Autodesk Inventor® CAD assembly that represents a robot arm. The export procedure generates one XML file and a set of geometry files that you can import into Simscape™ Multibody™ to generate a new s model.

The example begins with a procedure to export the CAD assembly. Information on the robot CAD files and CAD Export follows the export procedure. To import the robot assembly into a Simscape Multibody model, see Import a Robotic Arm CAD Model (Simscape Multibody).

The Robot Assembly Model

Example Requirements

To successfully complete this example, you must have:

  • Installed the latest Simscape Multibody Link version on your machine.

  • Completed the linking procedure for your Inventor® installation. The linking procedure adds a Simscape Multibody Link add-in to the Inventor installation.

Open the Assembly Model

Before you can export the robot assembly, you must load the assembly into Inventor.

  1. Open Inventor on your machine.

  2. Select File > Open

  3. Navigate to the file directory that contains the robot CAD files.

    Note

    The directory that contains the robot CAD files for the Autodesk Inventor platform is

    <MATLAB Root>\toolbox\physmod\smlink\smlinkdemos\...
    ...inventor\robot

  4. Select file robot.IAM.

  5. Click Open.

The CAD platform opens the robot assembly.

Export the Model

Once you successfully open the robot CAD assembly in your Inventor installation, you can export the assembly in a format compatible with the latest Simscape Multibody technology:

  1. In the Inventor toolbar, select Add-Ins > Export > Simscape Multibody.

  2. In the File name field of the Save As dialog box, enter sm_robot and select a directory to export the files.

  3. Click Save.

    Note

    Large CAD assemblies require more time to complete the export process. Allow up to a few minutes for the export process to complete.

Check the Exported Files

Confirm the following files exist in the export directory you specified:

  • XML file—Provides structure of model and parameters of parts.

  • Geometry files—Provide surface geometry of parts.

About the Example CAD Files

The CAD assembly files are present in your Simscape Multibody Link installation. You can access the files in the following directory:

<MATLAB Root>\matlab\toolbox\physmod\smlink\smlinkdemos\...
...inventor\robot
Substitute <MATLAB Root> with the root directory of your MATLAB® installation.

Note

If you are not sure what your MATLAB root directory is, at the MATLAB command line enter matlabroot. MATLAB returns the root directory for your installation.

The \inventor\robot directory contains a set of CAD files that define each CAD part and CAD assembly. Part file names contain the file extension .IPT. Assembly file names contain the extension .IAM.

The robot assembly contains nine parts and two assemblies: robot.IAM and grip.IAM. File robot.IAM models the robot root assembly. File grip.IAM models the robot grip subassembly.

The following table lists all files the example requires.

File NameType
robot.IAMAssembly
grip.IAM
wrist.IPTPart
upperarm.IPT
secondfingerlink.IPT
metacarples.IPT
firstfingerlinkL.IPT
forearm.IPT
firstfingerlink.IPT
fingertips.IPT
base.IPT

About CAD Export

The CAD export procedure generates one XML multibody description file and a set of geometry files. The XML file contains the structure of the assembly and the parameters that define each part. The geometry files define the 3-D surface of each part. Once the export procedure is complete, you can import the XML multibody description file into Simscape Multibody software. Simscape Multibody uses the file to automatically generate a new Simscape Multibody model.

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