MCADCafe Weekly Review October 17th, 2017

SOLIDWORKS Composer: Introducing the Animation Library
October 13, 2017  by Scott Woods

If you’re currently using SOLIDWORKS Composer for creating technical documentation and 3D animations then you already know there is no easier tool available for automating the animation process. SOLIDWORKS has now taken this a huge step further by including pre-canned animation templates.

With the new Animation Workshop automatic animation can be easily applied to any part, assembly, or grouping. SOLIDWORKS is once again making life just a little bit easier by automating commonly used actions.

For this blog I am going to be focusing on the new Animation Workshop, located in the Workshops Tab > Publishing > Animation Library. For this entire blog, I will be working in Animation Mode with the Timeline turned on. All settings will be set to default but it is important to note that all properties can be modified before and after the automatic animation is created in order to fully customize the outcome.

The latest enhancement to this Workshop was released with version 2017 SP 3.0.

Currently, there are two animation library groups, Highlight and Motion. The Highlight group controls various properties, such as color, to bring attention to a particular 3D actor. The Motion group adds movement to a 3D actor to show assembly, disassembly, and other movement actions. Under each group, there are several Animation functions. Each highlights or moves the selected model a little differently so play around with them. Also, remember all actions can be adjusted before and after you create the animation directly in the Animation Library Workshop. To edit a Step, click on it and the Create button will change to Update.

These actions not only shave hours off of creating animations but bring the end publication to life, automatically adding clean professional animation movements and highlights that you may not have time to create manually. And why would you want to when it’s automated?

Now let’s apply some animations.  There are quite a few pre-set animations that come with the installation of SOLIDWORKS Composer, here we are going to cover a couple of our favourites using the top cover of this drill press.

The first Animation Library feature on the shortlist is Highlight-Focus. Highlight-Focus creates three seconds of animation, causing the top cover to flash five times and then permanently changes to a darker blue color at the end. By pressing the Create button Composer automatically adjusts the keyframes in the timeline to bring a user’s attention to the part and then applies a color change to prepare the user that an action is about to take place.

Now that the user knows something is going to happen to the cover we are going to apply another automatic animation. This next animation is going to be used to remove the cover and hide it so the user knows they need to remove this part before proceeding to the next step.  For this, we are going to use Motion-RemoveMotion-Remove will cause the part to flash then translate away from the main assembly and then fade away.

Just like that, a disassembly animation of this cover has been created, taking a 20-minute process down to 30 seconds to develop.

For more information, check out our YouTube channel, get a SOLIDWORKS Composer quote or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

Have you ever wanted to create a pattern of an object in an assembly, but also have every instance slightly rotated from the last? In models such as a spiral staircase, it can be time consuming to create all the features separately to achieve one simple task. For example, first a circle would have to be sketched. Then, a Helix and Spiral would be needed to create the curved shape.  After that, a Curve Driven Pattern could be used as the final step.  Now with SOLIDWORKS 2018, an enhancement to the Linear Pattern feature in assemblies has been created that allows this to be done in one step!

In 2018, when creating a Linear Pattern, you have the option to add a rotation to each instance simply by checking the Rotate instances box. Select your number of instances, rotational reference as well as the increment angle and you can create various patterning possibilities with different outputs. You also have the option to align rotated instances to the seed instance by checking the Align to seed box. This not only will save time in the creation of your design, but also make it easier to modify in the future by not having to adjust multiple features.

Here are a few examples where I used this new feature in some of my designs. I hope you found this informative. Comment below with ideas for designs you could use this new and cool enhancement on.

Figure 2: Spiral staircase

Figure 3: Pole ladder

For more information, check out our YouTube channel, get a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD quote or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. And don’t forget to sign up for one of our SOLIDWORKS 2018 Launch Events! Thanks for reading!

YouTube Direkt
PTC Marches On With New Vuforia AR Platform Release
October 12, 2017  by Jeff Rowe

This week PTC announced the upcoming release of the newest version of its Vuforia platform for AR development, Vuforia 7. The company says Vuforia 7 will introduce major advancements in the ability to attach digital content to more types of objects and environments, and a new capability for delivering enhanced AR experiences on a wide range of handheld devices.

PTC claims that Vuforia is the world’s most widely used platform for AR development. With support for mobile phones, tablets and eyewear, Vuforia has powered more than 475 million installs of AR apps from the App Store and Google Play. Vuforia Engine, the core of the platform, uses a device’s camera(s) and sensors to function as a digital “eye” inside an app. It “sees” objects and surfaces where content can be placed, and enables developers to create AR experiences using existing development tools.

Vuforia 7 will introduce Model Targets, a new feature for attaching content to objects that have not been recognizable using existing computer vision technology. Model Targets recognize objects by shape, in contrast to existing methods that rely on detailed visual designs typically found on print media, product packaging and many consumer goods. With Model Targets, content can be attached to objects such as automobiles, appliances, and industrial equipment and machinery. Model Targets will enable a new class of AR content that can replace traditional user manuals and technical service instructions.

Jay Wright, President, Vuforia: State of Augmented Reality

Responding to developers, Vuforia 7 will also introduce a new capability for placing content on horizontal surfaces. Vuforia Ground Plane enables content to be placed on the ground, floor or tabletop, whether indoors or outdoors. Vuforia Ground Plane extends the functionality of the Vuforia Smart Terrain feature, first announced in 2013 to take advantage of depth sensing cameras. Vuforia Ground Plane will support a wide range of today’s devices and provides an ideal solution for developers to build visualization apps, ranging from in-home furniture shopping to design review.

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