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Export Stewart Platform from SolidWorks Software

In this example, you export a SolidWorks™ CAD assembly that represents a Stewart platform. The export procedure generates one XML file and a set of STL files that you can import into SimMechanics™ to generate a new second-generation model.

The example begins with a procedure to export the CAD assembly. Information on CAD files and CAD Export follows the export procedure. To import the robot assembly into a SimMechanics Second Generation model, see Import Robot Arm Model.

The following figure shows the Stewart platform assembly you export in this example.

Example Requirements

To successfully complete this example, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have the latest version of SimMechanics Link installed on your machine.

  • Have completed the linking procedure for your SolidWorks installation. The linking procedure adds a SimMechanics Link add-in to the SolidWorks installation.

  • Have access to the Stewart Platform example files that accompany the SimMechanics Link installation. See About the Example CAD Files.

Open Robot Assembly

Before you can export the robot assembly, you must load the assembly in a SolidWorks session.

  1. Open SolidWorks 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 SolidWorks platform is

      <MATLAB Root>\toolbox\physmod\smlink\smlinkdemos\...
      ...solidworks\stewart
  4. Select file stewart_platform.SLDASM.

  5. Click Open.

The CAD platform opens the Stewart platform assembly.

Export CAD Assembly

Once you successfully open the CAD assembly in your SolidWorks installation, you can export the assembly in second-generation format:

  1. In the SolidWorks toolbar, select SimMechanics Link > Export and click SimMechanics Second Generation....

  2. In the File name: field of the Save As dialog box, enter sm_stewart_platform 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.

You can proceed to import the robot assembly into a SimMechanics Second Generation model. See Import Robot Arm Model.

Verify CAD Export Files

Confirm the following files exist in the specified export directory:

 SimMechanics Import XML File

 STL Geometry Files

About the Example CAD Files

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

<MATLAB Root>\matlab\toolbox\physmod\smlink\smlinkdemos\...
...solidworks\stewart

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 \stewart directory contains a set of CAD files that define each CAD part and CAD assembly. Part file names contain the file extension .SLDPRT. Assembly file names contain the extension .SLDASM.

About CAD Export

The CAD export procedure generates one SimMechanics Import XML file and a set of STL files. The XML file contains the structure of the assembly and the parameters that define each part. The STL files define the 3-D geometry of each part. Once the export procedure is complete, you can import the SimMechanics Import XML file into SimMechanics. SimMechanics uses the file to automatically generate a new SimMechanics Second Generation model.

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