Note: This topic was written before Save as Biarcs was developed for Cams. Biarcs are tangent and thus very smooth.
Also, you can use the Save as icon to save the cam as a STEP file.
In MechDesigner, you can also save a cam as a DXF File.
The DXF is intended for CNC machines that do not have a spline option, or cannot open the STEP file format.
In the Cam-Coordinate Data dialog, you should calculate the Cam-Coordinates as:
•Equal increments of the Master Machine Angle - say 360 for a typical 'side-plate' size of cam.
Send Cam Data to SolidWorks button.
Make sure the SolidWorks is open, and a Part, existing or new, is the active document.
The data is sent to SolidWorks as a Curve Feature.
The Curve feature shows on the XY-Plane, which is the Front View in SOLIDWORKS.
Note: To move Curve feature to the XZ or the YZ Plane, then in the Cam-Coordinated dialog-box:
1.Click the Save as button, and save the Data as a TXT file.
2.Edit the data in Excel, and swap the X-data, or Y-data, with the Z-data.
3.Save the Data to NotePad
Then, in SOLIDWORKS:
4.Click Insert menu > Curve > Curve Through XYZ Points...
1.Select a Plane that is coplanar or parallel to the Curve feature.
2.Start a sketch on the Plane
3.Use Convert Entities in SolidWorks® sketch editor
4.Extrude the Curve.
You can see the Cam does not have any facets.
1.Open the file, with file-type as... *.TXT
2.Select a delimiter, as a ',' or 'tab'.
You want the 'X' and 'Y' Cam Points in separate columns, with each Cam Point in a new Row.
Experiment with the import options if necessary.
3.Tidy up the data, remove headers etc.
4.Move all the data so the first X Point starts at Cell A1, and the first Y Point at B1.
5.Add a Column for the Z-Axis, and fill it with Zeros (0).
6.If necessary, make the first and last point to be identical.
Experiment as necessary. Some CAD will close the cam for you, other CAD will not.
7.If necessary, scale the Cam-Data to the units you are working in your CAD
8.Save your data as an Excel® spreadsheet, for back-up purposes.
9.Save your Data to a NotePad® file.
You will use the file that you save in Excel® or NotePad® to import into your CAD.
The next steps depend on the CAD you are using.