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


We will add a sketch-loop to PartRed-14-1b in the RPR dyad that we joined to the Slider-Set 1.

The sketch-loop will become the 'Tool'. In this case, the tool is a 'tool-holder'.

The distance between the two Pin-Joints in the Dyad, identified by dimensionRed-14-3, changes as the Slider-Sets move around the arcs at each end of the Belt.

The distance changes:

from 100mm when the PartRed-14-1b is along the straight of the Belt

to a minimum of 93.55mm when PartRed-14-1b moves along the arc/pulley of the Belt.

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


The images shows the sketch for the tool-holder.

There is a short slotRed-14-1b  - (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 Red-14-1b

othe hole for the Slot Red-14-2

othe hole for the Tool-holder Red-14-3


Here, I have added:

a Profile and ExtrusionRed-14-1b 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_plusImport 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

- or -

1.Open SOLIDWORKS, Open Link100 from the 'Examples' folder in your account.

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-Slider of Slider-Set 1.

4.Use the CAD-Line dialog-box > SOLIDWORKS tab, to import the part from SOLIDWORKS.


We can also add a Sprocket and a Pin to drive the links along the Path.

1.Add a Rotating Part (Crank) at both ends of the Path, at the center of the Arcs.

2.Edit the CAD-Lines in the Rotating Parts, to import the Sprockets from SOLIDWORKS with the CAD-Line dialog-box

3.Import a Drive-Pin. You can add a new CAD-Line, if necessary.

The image shows the three Parts on three different CAD-Lines

The Chain-Link and Tool-holder

The Sprocket

The Pin