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Interactive software brings CAD designs to motion in minutes

Posted: 08 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:National Instruments  Motion Assistant 2.0  prototyping software 

National Instruments (NI) recently released NI Motion Assistant 2.0, the latest version of the interactive software for prototyping single- and multi-axis motion control systems. Machine builders and OEMs can use the new software to import motion profiles from CAD and drafting programs using the DXF file format. With this feature, engineers can gain instant access to their profiles, according to NI. Additionally, the software's interactive environment makes it easy to implement profiles in NI CompactRIO programmable automation controllers or generate code for PCI/PXI plug-in motion controllers while maintaining the ease of use of previous versions, the company.

NI Motion Assistant 2.0 is suitable for engineers who build machines for engraving or cutting profiles in sheet metal, glass, wood, foam or cloth, or for scanning applications in the semiconductor, life sciences and electronics industries.

After saving a motion profile as a DXF file in a CAD or drafting programme such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks, engineers can use the software to instantly import the profile and save motion-specific commands in an XML file format without writing additional code. They can then dynamically import this XML file into NI LabVIEW software or C applications with NI motion hardware. Along with the ability to import motion profiles, the new software continues to offer machine builders and OEMs tools to design motion applications in an interactive environment as well as the ability to deploy those applications by converting projects into C code for any C compiler or into NI LabVIEW virtual instruments.

The new software also features smart contouring so engineers can redefine a user-defined trajectory based on their desired move constraints while preserving move geometry. They now can easily implement trapezoidal or S-curve velocity profiles for moves with complex geometry, which helps minimise jitter on mechanical components and increase machine life.

In addition, the software features a graphical, point-and-click interface with 3D visualization capabilities for creating powerful motion control applications using stepper, servo and piezo actuators.

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