The Live Parts™ for SOLIDWORKS Add-in allows users to define a Live Parts "model" (i.e. a set of constraints and forces) for a Live Parts design. The Add-in also provides users with the ability to adjust the settings of the model to specifically define cell properties and forces. Before defining your first Live Parts model, please refer to this article to learn more about the Live Parts generative design process.
To define your Live Parts model, begin with an existing SOLIDWORKS assembly to which you want to add your Live Parts design. If you have no existing assembly or want to create a standalone Live Parts design, you can start with an empty assembly. Follow the steps below to define a Live Parts model:
- Create a part(s) within your assembly in SOLIDWORKS to hold reference geometry for gradients, forces, and seed cells.
- Defining gradients using the Gradient button in the Add-in toolbar. Gradients allow you to specify volumes you want to fill in ("attractor" gradients) or keep out ("repeller" gradients from your final design. Users can also define design spaces using "container" gradients.
- Defining forces using the Force button in the Add-in toolbar. Forces of specified magnitude and direction can be applied to selected surfaces to simulate the effects of such loads on your design.
- Defining fixtures using the Fixture button in the Add-in toolbar. Fixtures allow users to fix the surface of a gradient in space.
- Defining seed cells using the Seed Cell button in the Add-in toolbar. Seed cells are used to set the start and end locations for the Live Parts growth process.
- Defining symmetries (optional) using the Symmetry button in the Add-in toolbar.
- Defining walls (optional) using the Wall button in the Add-in toolbar. Walls are surfaces to which seed cells can be attached, allowing adjacent cells to feel strain associated with the applied forces.
- Adjusting the settings (optional) using the Settings button in the Add-in toolbar.
Please refer to this video for a walkthrough of how to create a basic Live Part model in SOLIDWORKS.