Automated Kinematic Assembly Modeling
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The aim of this research is to bridge the gap between CAD modeling and kinematic analysis packages by extracting kinematic information directly from part genometries. It will relieve the designers from the tedious task of specifying assembly constraints and specifying redundant information for creating kinematic models. Automatic generation of kinematic assembly models is achieved by characterizing the lower kinematic pairs: cylindrical, spherical, prismatic, planar and revolute; from the geometries point of view. Based on characterization, the algorithms are developed to recognize these kinematic pairs from a pair of part genometries. The combinations of primitive genometric entities: vertices, edges and faces; forming point, line, arc and surface contacts are studied. The signature geometry is found to be associated with each type of joint. The contacts are analysed for restraining the relative motion between a pair of parts. Based on this, the form closure conditions are derived for surface, line, arc and point contacts for each type of joint. The algorithms are developed to automatically recognize these joints and to assemble them into a kinematic assembly model represented as a graph. The strength and novelty of the present procedure is that kinematic pairs can be recognized for conforming as well as non conforming genometries. A Visual Basic for Application (VBA) for Solid Works has been developed using Application Programming Interface (API) for user interaction. The part genometries can be in any 3D solid modeling neutral file format (.sat, .igs, etc) or some of the native formats of CAD softwares supported by Solid Works. The regions of interest can be directly identified through mouse pick on parts using Solid Works Graphical User Interface (GUI). The transformation matrices are derived automatically to position the parts relative to each other. The local interference between part geometries is also considered for checking the validity of the kinematic pair in the assembly. Assembly model is created and represented as a directed graph. The present implementation, built on the ACIS geometry kernel, imports the parts into SolidWorks, specifies the mating regions using a visual Basic interfaces and finally generates the kinematic assembly model as an ADAMS input file complete with part genometries, their mass properties, kinematic joints and their locations.
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