This tutorial explains how to create a device design. This process can be used with exported .yaml files which come from a solidworks design process, outlined in the Solidworks Design Tutorial
At a minimum you will probably need three sketches per sub-laminate. You will need one sketch to define where material exists. Let’s call this the “body” sketch. You’ll also need one or more sketches to define where joints go, called your “joints” sketch. Finally, you may also need to define places where your body gets cut or separated. We’ll call this your “gaps” sketch. Each of these sketches will be used in different ways.
Draw the outline of the polygon(s) which define the body material of your device. It is unnecessary to split your device into the individual bodies which are separated by joints; this will be done later. You may have more than one closed polygon to define your mechanism, as connections on other layers may connect everything together. But for a single-sublaminate mechanism, you should probably have one polygon to define your body.
Draw polygons, circles, or squares which will define where your body is.
or, if importing from solidworks:
select file->import and select the .yaml file from your exported Solidworks design. There are several options which will pop up, which gives you control over how to import the geometries. You may wish to dilate/erode, scale, or simplify the imported geometries.
You will need to repeat this process for the body material on any other sublaminates in your design.
To create articulated motion in your laminate device, portions of the rigid layers of your composite must be removed to allow neighboring rigid links to rotate with respect to one another like a hinge. Depending on what your layers consist of, the removal geometry may be quite different and may be distributed across differing layers. You may use one hinge type or multiple, depending on the tolerances, ranges of motion, or properties you wish each joint to exhibit.
To facilitate reuse of one or more hinge designs, you can create a hinge sketch which allows you to copy and reposition the same hinge geometry over and over. In general, you will need a separate sketch per hinge type, and per sublaminate. So therefore, for example, if you want two different 5-layer(1-sublaminate) hinges to be placed in a 11-layer(2-sublaminate) design, you will probably need four sketches to place both hinges onto both sublaminate layers.
Joint sketches generally just consist of sets of lines which can be used in conjunction with place or transform operations to copy, scale, and rotate reusable hinge geometries to the joint locations you desire.
Draw one or more lines which define how your geometry gets placed. You can draw this sketch by hand and add constraints to accurately dimension the location of each line.
if importing from a solidworks-exported .yaml file, import the same body file you imported before, and select the “get joints” feature. Any adjacent edges of polygons will be converted into lines. Delete any lines which you have previously already used in other joint sketches or which represent gaps.
You will need to repeat this process for each hinge design, shift values, etc.
A Gap sketch is used to ensure that neighboring body geometries which must remain separated are actually not touching.
There are several extra considerations for multiple sublaminate designs. In addition to designing each sublaminate (separately), one must specify the regions where neighboring sublaminates should be rigidly connected by the adhesive layers between them. The layer operation is a good tool for that, because it allows one to operate on and between layers of a laminate. Specifically, if the sublaminate designs have already been created, you can use a layer intersection to identify shared regions between sublaminates.
This should create one or more polygons indicating overlapping regions between your two sublaminates. You can modify this further with a sketch and a laminate difference/intersection, or by using the “identify bodies” operation to separate these many polygons into individual polygons. A laminate operation can then be used to recombine the specific adhesive sections you want to use with the merged sublaminate design. You will need to repeat this for each set of neighboring sublaminates.
Voila! You’ve created a device!