CAD File Publishing
The problem with CAD software is that each program ( Solid Works, AutoDesk, Sketchup, etc.) has entirely different and totally incompatible files types. For example, suppose you produce CAD files using Solid Works, but someone else uses Google Sketchup or AutoDesk Inventor, how would that person view your files?
The solution SoR will use is a common file format called DWF to view each others files. From now on I highly encourage you to publish a DWF file in addition to your other files.
Creating DWF Files
Most CAD software today offers the ability to save your CAD file as a DWF file through the save as feature. But not all. Please check now! IF your software does not have this ability, download this independent program: Otherwise just scroll down to 'Viewing DWF Files' to skip to the next step.
AutoDesk DWF Writer v3.5 (21.2 mb)
During installation, make sure you have the 3D feature installed (by default it does not install). You may also be interested in the other features if you own additional software:
When installing, you MUST have your browser closed.
It will try to install something useless in your browser that you can remove later.
Before running the DWF Writer program, make sure you have your CAD file loaded up in your normal CAD program.
In my case, I selected the file called 'Autodesk Inventor - [Sumo1.iam]'. Then I chose a place to save the DWF file.
Make sure in options you select the correct units:
When ready, click OK to create the file. If you did it properly, it should then say 'DWF file was successfully created!'
Viewing DWF Files
The first way is to download this 100% free program:
Autodesk Design Review 2008 (39.1 mb)
After downloading and installing, load up the program. Click the option that says Open a DWF or Image File. Locate a DWF file and select Open. Don't have a DWF file yet? Download my DWF for Stampy.
Note that you can also share your .dwf files by uploading them as an attachment in the robot forum.
A new window should load up that looks like this:
Obviously its not a perfect viewer (judging by the color errors), but it will do.
If you have little experience with CAD, I recommend just playing around with the main window by moving the robot around with your mouse. Try using the scroll for zooming, and dragging for rotating.
On some occasions the part center may be far from the part, causing issues while rotating. Using this menu, select and change the Center:
You should also note the feature for measuring parts on the CAD, very useful!
Check out this example by using your mouse:
To view any DWF, open up the Extra Large CAD DWF Viewer.
For more information on showing your own DWF files in the webviewer, check out the AutoDesk DWF WebViewer.
Unfortunately there are a few bugs, I reported them, but I doubt AutoDesk has any intentions on solving them . . .
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