Friday, September 25, 2015

creating stock from stl file exported from simulation

Last week I showed the capability of exporting an .stl file out of the finished simulation of a job setup within Inventor HSM.  This week what i want to do is go through the steps in converting that from an .stl file into a part that we can actually use for the 2nd setup of a part.

Let's dive in and find out how to do this.

First Step: Run the stock simulation of a job setup that you have created.

With this right click on the simulated part or anywhere inside the graphics view.

Hover over Stock, and select "Save Stock" from the drop down list.  Now, a dialog for saving the file will popup and path it to the location that you want to save the file and change the name to what you want it to be.  For this example, I am going to put it on my desktop and name it CAM Mania Setup 2

Now, comes the fun part of converting the stl file.  In my post last week I posted the link to an app in the Autodesk App Store; and this was for a mesh enabler.  To do this conversion you have to have that app installed in Inventor.  (disclaimer: I believe it is only available to current subscription customers)
With all that said; we need to start a new part file in Inventor.  Here's the catch; if you start an Inch part then the imported stl file is going to blow up to a huge size because it was exported out in MM.
So, when starting a new part file be sure to start one using the metric part template.

Now, on the 3D Model tab of your Ribbon; on the Create panel pick the Import button.

Now, in the dialog that pops up you need to select the stl file that you saved for the stock.  You may have to change the file type to All types or just to STL files.
This will import the stl file into your current part.  Now, it doesn't create any surfaces or bodies at import it is just kind of empty space.  To change that; in the model browser, expand the parent that has the same name as the file that was imported.  This will allow you to see the "Mesh" selection of the feature.

Select the MeshFeature1 and then right click on it.  With the Mesh enabler installed you in that right click menu there is a selection called "Convert to Base Feature"; select this.
On the dialog that pops up go ahead and hit okay.  This dialog is just asking whether you want it to create a surface body or a solid body.  Frankly, I haven't had one yet that creates an actual solid body.  Now, that should have placed a Composite1 Parent in the browser and now there is a Surface Bodies folder with this composite in it.
The last step to this we are going to stitch the composite together so that it creates an actual solid body for us to use.
Still on the 3D Model tab and over in the Surface panel left pick on the Stitch command.

With the Stitch command active select on the surface or the surface in the graphics window.

at the bottom of the dialog hit the apply button and wait for it to convert.  Once it is converted you have a finished solid body that can now be used in an assembly or derived into a part to use it for a second setup and such.
Hope this is a helpful tip!
Happy Programming!

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