How to Convert a SolidWorks File to a Combined Visual and Collision URDF file with the SW2URDF Plugin:

Good Written Resource from wpi :

The Update:

In part 1 of the update to my undergraduate senior project at Cal State Long Beach, I said I would be updating regularly my progress. Well, that hasn’t happened like I hoped I would. I have a proper part 2 update about 50% written in my drafts on this website, but a lot of it was just “I tried this solution for a few weeks, I didn’t like it, so I tried this other solution”. Perhaps I am being too hyper-critical of myself, but I didn’t like how it was turning out, and I wasn’t sure anyone would want to read it.

Even though I hadn’t finished writing a proper “part 2” update, I still wanted to demonstrate my progress somehow, so instead I made a 3 part tutorial series on YouTube demonstrating the work I have been doing to translate a SolidWorks file into a URDF file to be used with MoveIt or ROS.

I struggled to find a lot of good documentation out there on how to perform this process, and the few good resources that were out there I found to be missing key details (or perhaps they were just explained poorly).

I eventually did convert the Dorna 2 SolidWorks robot assembly to a working URDF which combined a visual and collision model. However, it was due to a lot of trial-and-error on my part, and while it was still fresh in my mind I wanted to make a good resource others out there looking to repeat the same process.

Hence, and without any further ado, I present my 3-part series on how to convert a SolidWorks assembly to a combined visual and collision URDF using the SW2URDF plugin:

Part 1 – Coordinate Systems and Joint Axes:

Part 2 – How to Actually Use the Plugin:

Part 3 – Gazebo and MoveIt:

I may still later finish the part 2 update to my senior project which illustrates the different steps and my full decision-making process for the current state of my senior project and my software decisions. I made the smart decision for this project to create a journal where I record what I do each day I work on the project, which makes tracing my thought process on what I was trying to do at a certain period in time straight-forward and accurate.

Regardless, I am very proud of how these videos turned out, and I am especially proud of my thumbnails, as vain as that may sound. I don’t have a lot of Photoshop experience, but with a little Photoshop primer help from my artsy Dad, I was able to create what I think is a very visually appealing thumbnail in a single night.

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