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With access to the SolidWorks files, making adjustments to fit plywood and dowels of various lengths or widths requires a few simple steps.

Adding Plywood Thickness


To change the width of the insert for a piece of plywood of a different size, the model has been separated with a plane to extrude from. In the image above “Plane 3” is referenced off the face of the inside wall of the insert. By modifying the extrude feature “Boss-Extrude3” with the dimension of your piece of plywood, you will now have an insert that is compatible with your experiment. The rest of the features will update accordingly.

Changing Dowel Diameter


To account for a different diameter of dowel, find the sketch—in the above image it is “Sketch2” under “Boss-Extrude4”—that creates the cylindrical feature. Edit the sketch, and update the dimension of the diameter to the dowel size of your choice. While in this sketch, you can also determine the wall thickness of the feature by modifying the offset between the inner circle (your dowel) and the outer concentric curves (the walls). You can also modify the length of the two parallel flat sides to either create a larger or smaller surface for a robot with an electric gripper to hold onto.

Changing Screw Size and Type


In order to change the screw size and type, you can modify the CSK… feature. To create a screw hole from scratch, you add a feature to your family tree under the “Hole Wizard” tab where most of the standard features are found. Within the “Hole Wizard” dialogue box, you can change the screw to fit ANSI or metric types of standard screws. It is possible to dictate the type of countersink depending on what kind of screw you choose. The dialogue also allows you to determine exactly where the screws will be placed. This opens the possibilities of modifying an HRC experiment to account for different types of screw drivers.

Inserting a Fiduciary Marker


Fiduciary markers can be a great asset to designing an HRC experiment because they can give a robot more agency by perception. To embed a fiduciary marker directly onto one of the brackets, you must first convert the fiduciary marker image into a .dxf or .dwg file. This can be achieved by pulling a marker image into a vector image software such as Adobe Illustrator and tracing the image to duplicate the outlines as a vector lines. You can then save the vector outlines as either of the accepted files.

To insert these files into your SolidWorks model, open your .dwg or .dxf file under file > open. You will be re-directed to the DWG/DXF wizard in which you can specify a series of import options like scale and origin of the image. You want to make sure to import the file as a 2D sketch in your part.

In order to create the embedded feature, you may have to re-trace your fiduciary marker sketch using the “Convert Entities” tool. Then, highlight the dark areas of the marker and use the “Extruded Cut” feature to cut into your bracket enough to be able to distinguish the marker, but not too far as to cut through the wall of the bracket.

Cost Analysis


To be able to estimate the cost of producing one of the brackets using other manufacturing methods or materials, you can use the “Costing” tool under the “Evaluate” tab. There, you can specify what material you will be manufacturing or fabricating the parts with, what process you will use, e.g. 3D printing or injection molding, how many brackets you plan to produce, and compare several methods.