Modeling workflow (defining walls, gradients, and seed cells)
- Begin creating a Live Parts model by defining walls in the locations where cells should be fixed.
- Place seed cell start locations on the surface of these walls.
- Add attractor gradients to fill-in the regions immediately adjacent to the walls, off which the mounted seed cells will grow - these gradients need not be fixed because the cells touching the surfaces of the walls will anchor the remaining cells within the attractor gradients to "float" and feel strain.
- Add attractor gradients with forces applied to them.
- Place points on the surfaces of these attractor gradients so that seed cells can grow towards them and fill out the attractor gradients with forces applied.
- As a last step, add seed cells and repeller gradients.
- When creating Live Parts models in SOLIDWORKS, it is important to be mindful of gravity forces. Gravity forces, especially oscillating ones, can have a major impact on the shape of the design created during the Live Parts growth process. Users can leverage gravity forces to help create a part that is stronger in the directions other than the primary load directions.
- To adjust gravity forces, select Settings in the Live Parts for SOLIDWORKS Add-in.
- The default gravity forces have a fixed -Y component and oscillating X and Z components.
- Sometimes, however, seed cells start and end locations associated with a Live Parts model may result in growth in the Z direction - in these cases, users should use their best judgement to align the primary gravity force in the Z direction.
- Users can also modify gravity forces to change after the seed cell stems have reached their end locations. For example, users may want to decrease the gravity forces once the stems have reached their end locations such that the loads on the gradients can take precedence.
- Live Parts is best-suited to creating parts with relatively similar feature sizes - models with length dimension of 100mm and a cylindrical gradient mounting point with a diameter of 1mm are not currently well-supported by the Live Parts growth process.
- Live Parts defaults to cell with a default size of roughly 1% of the largest bounding box dimension.
- In case of the example model above, this would result in a default cell size of 1mm, which would make it impossible for the cells to fill in a space around the 1 mm hole and still leave the hole in place.
- Until Live Parts directly incorporates the ability to automatically adapt the cell size in the vicinity of fine grained features of gradients (a feature currently under consideration for development), users should leave out fine details on gradients so that the cells may easily fill their volumes without losing detail.