Export a 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 geometry files that you can import into Simscape™ Multibody™ to generate a new 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 Simscape Multibody model, see Import a Robotic Arm CAD Model (Simscape Multibody).

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 Simscape Multibody Link installed on your machine.

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

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

Open the Assembly Model

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.


    The directory that contains the robot CAD files for the SolidWorks platform is

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

  4. Select file stewart_platform.SLDASM.

  5. Click Open.

The CAD platform opens the Stewart platform assembly.

Export the Model

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

  1. In the SolidWorks toolbar, select Simscape Multibody Link > Export and click Simscape Multibody . In certain SolidWorks versions, this option may appear under the Tools menu.

  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.


    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 Simscape Multibody model. See Import a Robotic Arm CAD Model (Simscape Multibody).

Check the Exported Files

Confirm the following files exist in the specified export directory:

 XML Multibody Description File

 Geometry Files

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\...
Substitute <MATLAB Root> with the root directory of your MATLAB® installation.


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 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 gemoetry files define the 3-D surface shapes of the various CAD parts. 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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