RoboDK Announces Streamlined Workflow from CAD to Simulation
Isaac Maw posted on January 18, 2019 |
To generate a welding program, the user selects surfaces, edges and points in SolidWorks before the assembly is automatically loaded into RoboDK. 

Simulation software for industrial robots is a valuable tool for robotic system integrators and robot programmers, allowing users to design robotic work cells and generate robot programs through offline programming. (For more information on offline robot programming, check out this article.)

However, simulation requires accurate digital models of each piece of tooling and equipment in order to be useful. In most cases, users must export files from the CAD environment, then import them into the simulation environment. However, as any professional software user knows, exporting, importing, and managing different filetypes and compatibilities can be a headache.

RoboDK has recently announced a new plugin to the RoboDK simulation software that aims to streamline the workflow of using CAD assets for robot programming.

According to the company, this plugin is designed to make tasks easier when programming for welding, drilling, machining, setting approach angles, and for importing many parts from CAD to simulation more rapidly.

The plugin is currently available for SolidWorks. Installation instructions can be found here. If you already have RoboDK and SolidWorks installed, you should already have the RoboDK plugin available from SolidWorks. This video tutorial released by RoboDK shows how the plugin works:

In the tutorial, the robot station is loaded in RoboDK, while a welding assembly is loaded in Solidworks. In simulation software, knowing the exact position of welding joint start and end points can be challenging. Using the plugin, the user selects the surfaces, points and edges surrounding each weld. Next, the SolidWorks assembly automatically appears in RoboDK, and the welding program is generated. This generated program can then be edited.

Next, the video illustrates how a common workflow for importing a CAD model into simulation involves saving the part in a different file format before it can be imported. With the plugin, the user can click a button in the SolidWorks RoboDK toolbar, and the model will automatically load into RoboDK.

Check out the video to see more features of the RoboDK SolidWorks plugin.

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