Step 15.5: Add a Solid to Chain-Link

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Step 15.5: Add a Solid to Chain-Link

Add a Solid to the Tool-Part.

We use the Pattern tool to make copies of Solid elements.

We will add one Solid element to the 'Tool-Part'. The 'Tool-Part' is one of the two Parts in the RPR Dyad. We renamed Step 15.4 one of the Parts in the RPR dyad to 'Tool-Part'.

There are two methods to add a Solid to a Part. You can do the two methods to each Part.

Use the Part-Editor to add a sketch-loop to give the shape of a Tool, then add a Profile/Extrusion element that becomes the Solid.

Edit a CAD-Line to import a part or assembly document from SOLIDWORKS®.

You can also:

Import a DXF File; then convert DXF Lines or Circles to MechDesigner sketch-elements and sketch-loop; and a Profile/Extrusion to the sketch-loop.

Edit a CAD-Line to import an STL file from other CAD.

Use the two methods to add Solids to a Part

tog_plusAdd a Sketch-Loop, Profile and Extrusion, and Holes


STEP 1: Add a Measurement FB between the Pin-Joints

1.Kinematic FB toolbar > Add Measurement FB

2.Click the Point at the Pin-Joint at R-P-R

3.Click the Point at the Pin-Joint at R-P-R

4.Click the graphic-area to place

As you cycle the model you will see the length variation between the Pin-Joints is from 100mm to 93.55mm.


The distance changes:

from 100mm when the Part is along the straight length of the Belt

to a minimum of 93.55mm when Part moves around the arc/pulley of the Belt.

Thus, we must add a short 'slot' to the Tool-Part.

The images shows the sketch for the tool-holder.

There is a short slot  - (not easy to see in the sketch).


Now the shape of the Solid Extrusion is complete:

There is:

one Profile

three holes:

othe hole for the Pin

othe hole for the Slot

othe hole for the Tool-holder


Here, I have added:

a Profile and Extrusion to give the shape of the tool-holder

a Hole through the Tool-holder

You must pass a hole through each extrusion, unlike more sophisticated CAD.

tog_plus Import a Solid from CAD

Parts from SolidWorks® can have much more design detail. To do this:

1.Import an Assembly onto one CAD-Line.


1.Use the Part-Editor to add more CAD-Lines to one Part

2.Import different CAD files on to each CAD-Line.


1.Open SOLIDWORKS; and design a chain link (remember to Add a Coordinate System)

2.Save the SOLIDWORKS Part, if necessary

3.In MechDesigner, edit the CAD-Line of the Part that is in the Dyad, attached with a Pin-Joint to the Y-Slider1

4.Use the CAD-Line dialog-box > SOLIDWORKS tab >

5.Import from SOLIDWORKS >

6.Read Part/Assembly button

7.Import Part/Assembly button

Also import a Pin for the Chain-Link