Importing a CAD Drawing
To use parts from a CAD drawing in MapleSim, you first have to import the parts into MapleSim. During import, the MapleSim CAD Toolbox extracts the parts from your CAD file and displays them in the Import CAD window, where you can set their properties before converting them to CAD subsystems.
After the parts are converted into CAD subsystems, they are imported into MapleSim and placed in the Hierarchy palette.
To import a CAD drawing into MapleSim:
Select File, and then select Import CAD....
Browse to the location of your CAD file, select it, and then click Open.
Note for SolidWorks files: If you have SolidWorks installed, the Importing CAD dialog opens with the following options:
CAD software: This option uses SolidWorks to do the import. During import, constraint coordinates are automatically converted to Coords (that is, ports) and added to the CAD bodies.
File: This option imports only the CAD bodies from the file. Constraint coordinates are not imported. You will have to add Coords (ports) to the CAD parts manually.
In the Import CAD window, set properties for the parts from your CAD file.
The properties you can set include changing the material, creating a sub-assembly, and adding a port (that is, a Coord).
Click Accept and Return (
Once the CAD subsystems have been imported, a confirmation dialog box opens telling you where they are in the Hierarchy palette.
Click OK to return to MapleSim.
To see the generated CAD subsystems, select the Local Components tab and then expand the Hierarchy palette. Your CAD subsystems are in a subgroup called CAD_filename (where CAD_filename is the name of the CAD file you opened in step 2). Here you will find CAD subsystems for each sub-assembly you created as well as for the stand-alone parts in the CAD file.
A shared subsystem called _group CAD_filename is also generated. This shared subsystem contains all the parts you imported and is convenient for simulating your entire assembly without having to rebuild it.
To use the CAD subsystems, drag them onto the Model Workspace and connect them to other components (that is, CAD subsystems, Multibody components, and 1-D Mechanical components).
Notes about CAD subsystems:
Hidden parts and sub-assemblies are not imported into MapleSim.
In order to connect a CAD subsystem to other components, you must add a Coord (port) to the part. See Adding a Port to a CAD Subsystem for details.
Hidden Coords are not imported into MapleSim.
CAD subsystems properties cannot be edited in MapleSim. To edit a CAD subsystem, open the part in the Feature Detect window by double-clicking on it in MapleSim.
CAD subsystems are shared subsystems that contain Multibody components. To see the internal representation of a CAD subsystem, right-click on the CAD subsystem, and then select Open Component.
During import, the MapleSim CAD Toolbox generates an attachment with the same file name and extension as the CAD file you imported (under the Attached Files tab (
), expand CAD Models). This is a link to your CAD file, and not the actual CAD file.
After you import a CAD drawing, you can open it at a later time to make changes and then merge the changes into you existing CAD subsystems. See Opening a CAD File for details.
Updates to your CAD file are not automatically merged into their corresponding CAD subsystems. To merge updates into CAD subsystems, you must refresh the CAD file. See Refreshing a CAD File for details.
You must have SolidWorks installed in order to refresh a CAD file that was imported using the CAD software option in step 2.
If you imported a SolidWorks file using the CAD software option in step 2, it is recommended that you hide unwanted Coords instead of deleting them. Hidden Coords remain hidden when you refresh the CAD file, but deleted Coords will be regenerated when you refresh the CAD file.
If during import a single part is broken up into multiple parts with the same name, you will not be able to refresh that CAD subsystem after it is imported. See SolidWorks Part Files Containing Multiple Solid Bodies for solutions.
If parts are missing from your Solid Works assembly, this could be due to your assembling containing virtual components. See Missing Parts from SolidWorks Virtual Components for solutions.
Adding a Port to a CAD Subsystem
Creating a Hierarchy for a Model in the Local Components Tab
Creating a Sub-assembly
Missing Parts from SolidWorks Virtual Components
Opening a CAD File
Refreshing a CAD File
SolidWorks Part Files Containing Multiple Solid Bodies
Supported CAD Systems
MapleSim CAD Toolbox Overview
Tutorial: Building a Slider-Crank Model with the CAD Toolbox
Download Help Document
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