Tutorial 19: Import SOLIDWORKS Part and Assemblies

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Tutorial 19: Import SOLIDWORKS Part and Assemblies

How to prepare and import SOLIDWORKS Parts and Assemblies

We use the CAD-Line dialog-box | SolidWorks tab to import SOLIDWORKS Part and Assembly documents.


In MD14 and later, we check with your Windows Registry which SOLIDWORKS release you used last. We then install the correct Type-Library automatically. If, at any time later, you use a different SOLIDWORKS release, you only need to restart MechDesigner.

You can check that the Type-Library is correct: see Help menu > About > Type-Library tab.

Coordinate System in MechDesigner

CAD-Lines

CAD-Lines

COORDINATE-SYSTEM IN MECHDESIGNER

CAD-Lines:

Edit a CAD-Line to import a CAD Solid (SolidWorks or STL), and/or a DXF file.

There is one CAD-Line along the center of each Part that you add to the model.

To import more CAD Solids onto the same Part : edit the Part, and do Geometry toolbar > Add CAD-Line.

ALL CAD-Lines have a Coordinate-System

Origin: start-Point of the CAD-Line

+X–axis: from start-Point to end-Point

+Y–axis: is +90º from +X–axis and on the Mechanism Plane

+Z–axis: normal() to the Mechanism Plane.

Coordinate System in SOLIDWORKS

All SOLIDWORKS CAD documents have a Coordinate System.

However, usually, you must add a Coordinate System feature to the SOLIDWORKS document to indicate how you want to align it with the CAD-Line in MechDesigner.

The Origin and X-axis of the Coordinate-System in SOLIDWORKS will coincide with the start-Point and end-Point of the CAD-Line in in MechDesigner.

The image below shows a SOLIDWORKS document with a Coordinate System feature.

SOLIDWORKS CAD model prepared for import to MechDesigner

SOLIDWORKS CAD model prepared for import to MechDesigner

To add a Coordinate System, we must select a Point or Vertex, and a Line or Edge. Rather than select from the model's existing features, I usually add a new Plane and sketch to the model. I can edit the new features if I want, later.

I usually do these steps:

1.Add a new PlaneRed-14-1b

SOLIDWORKS > Insert menu > Reference Geometry > Reference Plane

It becomes the XY-Plane of the Coordinate System. It will be coplanar with the Mechanism-Plane in MechDesigner.

2.Start a new SketchRed-14-2 on the new PlaneRed-14-1b

Add two perpendicular construction lines.

The lines should intersect where we want the model to coincide with the start-Point of the CAD-Line.

Close the sketch.

Add Coordinate Syastem dialog in SOLIDWORKS

Add Coordinate Syastem dialog in SOLIDWORKS

3.Add the Coordinate SystemRed-14-3  

SOLIDWORKS > Insert menu > Reference Geometry > Coordinate System

a.Click the point at the intersection of the construction lines as the Origin

b.Click the construction line that is the +X-axis

c.Click the construction line that is the +Y–axis.

The +Z–axis should be towards you, the same as the +Z–axis direction of the CAD-Line in MechDesigner.


Procedures to Import SOLIDWORKS Documents

btn_delkeyword Import STL Files directly
btn_delkeywordSTL: FILE-SIZE and APPEARANCE