Assigning components to links

This article explains how to assign components to links and the purpose of the different SolidWorks configurations and the different component models.

Introduction

This article explains how to assign components to links and the purpose of the different SolidWorks configurations and the different component models.

Each link must be assigned components in at least one of its three component models (Physical, Visual, and Collision). 

Component models

Component models

Each component model is a set of SolidWorks components that represent the link, and the components for each model should be chosen from any one Solidworks configuration. The component models can either have their own SolidWorks configurations or can all be in the same configuration. The three types of component models are described in the table above.

Visual Component Model - This set of link components is what is shown in the simulator. This model must be defined in order to export the robot.

Collision Component Model - This set of link components is used by the robot simulator for calculations and should be as simple as possible. For each link, if no components are assigned to the collision model, the visual model will be used instead. Although this model is optional, it is recommended for all but the most basic robots.

Physical Component Model - This set of link components is used to calculate the center of mass and inertia values of the link. For each link, if no components are assigned to the physical model, the visual model will be used instead. If you check "Use Custom Inertia Values" for a link and provide those values, you do not need to assign components to that link's physical model.

SolidWorks Configurations

SolidWorks Configurations

SolidWorks configurations are a useful way of organizing the components that will go in to each different component model.A SolidWorks configuration is a set of SolidWorks components that can be toggled between. A configuration can be created to store the models for the different models for export, e.g. a configuration for collision models, one for visuals, and another for physical models.

If using configurations, all components of a link's component model must be in the same configuration, although different links can have models in different configurations.

New configurations can be created in the SolidWorks "ConfigurationManager" tab.

Opening the component selector panel

Opening the component selector panel

To open the panel for adding components

1) If using configurations, select the configuration in the SolidWorks Feature Manager.

2) Open the Manage Robot window and select the link

3) In the right pane, select the Physical, Visual, or Collision component model button.

Adding components

Adding components

Click on a component to select or de-select it.  

For collision components you can check the box labeled "No Collision model for this link ". This will make there be no collision model for this link. This can be useful to speed up simulation if you are not worried about checking for collisions on this link.

When you are done selecting components, press the green checkmark button to return to the Robot Manager and ensure that all our components are saved properly.

Coloring components

Coloring components

If other links have already been assigned components of the same configuration, you can see which components have been assigned to other links by checking "Color components by link".

The links will be colored based on the colors chosen in the robot manager. Note that if a component is assigned to multiple links, it will only be colored to the color of one link.

This is helpful to check which components have been assigned to at least one link.

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