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An Introduction to Mechanisms

1 Making your automata - Solidworks


Learn It

To make your own automata using Solidworks there are a number of skills that you need to be able to master.

Learn It - Changing an existing part

  • Right click on the part, in the assembly, select the edit sketch/pencil icon in top right.
  • Below is a video to help

Learn It - Autotrace

  • From the toolbar at the top make sure you go to tools > Add-ins and enable autotrace with the twocheckboxes.
  • Go to google images and find a suitable image and save it
  • In Solidworks start a new part.
  • Click on sketch then select a plane
  • Go to the commands search bar an type in 'Sketch picture'
  • Select your saved image
  • Carefully change the size - Note Your frame is 100mm wide.
  • In the left sidebar - cick the right arrow
  • Select the dropper tool and then click on your image
  • Begin trace
  • Adjust your image.
  • Tidy up sketch by adding lines and trimming off spares.
  • Extrude to 3mm
  • Below is a video to help

Learn It - Converting a Solidworks part into a DXF file

  • Make sure the part is flat or front on.
  • Right click on the part.
  • Choose convert into a DXF file.
  • Select options and make sure 'polylines' is selected.
  • Save
  • Select annotation view and green tick to select.
  • From the black and white preview save the file.
  • Repeat with all your parts that you need to cut.
  • Below is a video to help

Learn It - Import a DXF file into 2D Design

  • Open 2D Design.
  • From the top menu go to File > Import File
  • Select your file.
  • Make sure it is in 'mm' and ignore the warnings.
  • Change the lines to red and move into the corner.
  • Below is a video to help

Learn It - Final checks and send to the lasercutter

  • Firstly make sure your file is saved with a suitable name.
  • Next check all parts are squashed together, to save material and labelled if necessary.
  • Then go to Outlook – should be a link on the bottom toolbar in Windows – big O. Click on new. Type the address lasercutter and then check names. Attach the file and send it.
  • Below is a video to help

Badge It - Silver, Gold and Platinum

  • For silver add screenshots of your new parts.
  • For gold add a cutting sheet
  • For platinum, upload a photo of your finished automata.