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I would like to be able to save, for example, a SOLIDWORKS(or any 3D-CAD program) assembly in some format that includes all the joint local/global locations and the parts global location and orientation. Is there standard file format for that?

Second question is there a CAD file format that includes mass and inertia data with graphics?

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  • $\begingroup$ what kinds of graphics? Models? Parasolid, STEP and IGES include the boundary representation model/ drawings, they are sort of graphics in making made with the defacto standard primitives of industrial CAD. Reading this in into say a game engine is not so easy since theres a underlying reality cad modellers are adhering to that's different form game engines. If you want to read it in get a cad kernel to interpret things for you such as Open Cascade, granite, coretechnoliogie or parasolid $\endgroup$ – joojaa Jun 23 '16 at 12:37
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This sounds like the exact synopsis of my masters thesis.

Theoretically a format that can contain this info exits. STEP could include this information, but since the exporter has some serious leeway into implementation so no export actually contains all you ask for and even if it did theres no guarantee your importer would understand it even if included.

However, exporting this information is pretty easily done yourself. The only thing that is hard to implement is the geometry export, but for that you can use any of the existing formats.

So what you do is you write a script that querries each parts transformation matrix, mass info and joint positions then dump it into a (json, xml etc file) file next to your normal export. Then write a importer for that data in the opposite end. This should not need to be terribly hard, ive done this in Creo and Catia. Creo having by far the least accessible API took about 2 weeks to implement once i figured out that this was indeed what i wanted to do. In contrast for Catia less than a week. Reading it in to say Adams or Simulink was pretty trivial by comparasion.

By the way the creo simulink exporter works exactly like this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Link to your masters thesis? $\endgroup$ – pinq- Jun 22 '16 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @pinq not available online im afraid not very useful in implementation, its just rhe theoretical reasoning behind implementation. Just read your cad manual on how to traverse the hierarchy of your assembly it should be quite clearly explained. $\endgroup$ – joojaa Jun 22 '16 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ actually, graphics are not so important. If just can export part file that includes mass and inertia data. Then different file for assembly what includes parts location and orientation and joints types and location. I tried with solidworks 2015 and didn't figure out how to get that data to file. $\endgroup$ – pinq- Jun 29 '16 at 8:04

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