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How to export .DAE file from SolidWorks?

I want to use DAE and STL in URDF, but i can only export STL.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Robotics Stack Exchange! The following links may help: 1 and 2 $\endgroup$
    – ravi
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 4:17

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FreeCAD can import STEP files and export Collada .dae files with good control over the mesh parameters. Exporting STEP from Solidworks preserves the exact geometry and then you can work on the mesh in FreeCAD. Some forum posts suggest you need to install the pycollada library but I don't think that's required on Windows.

Especially if you want colors on your Collada visuals, Blender is a good tool, but I believe it only can import mesh formats, so exporting a STL out of Solidworks and importing into Blender is also an option.

I think Solidworks also has a few more mesh export options you may want to experiment with, not sure why Collada isn't natively one of them.

I think I'd try several ways and see what you like. I've used pipelines as complex as STEP->FreeCAD->Meshlab->Blender->URDF before to get nice looking, smooth visuals with colors and not too many polygons!

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  • $\begingroup$ Nicely explained, @danzimmerman. I just wanted to know, if you already have a STEP file, and you would be using MeshLab (which has decimation filters which can be applied to the meshes), what would be the role of FreeCAD in this pipeline you described? $\endgroup$
    – ssarkar
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 7:30
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    $\begingroup$ I had a complicated assembly I downloaded as a STEP from Vention and I wanted to export different components of it as individual Collada files so I could apply different decimation and filtering to each group using Meshlab and simplify adding colors in Blender. Possible if I was better at selective editing in Meshlab or Blender I wouldn't have needed to do it this way. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ My sw already has color information, so I don’t want to use blender and other software to color it myself. So how to export the color information and the model to dae? $\endgroup$
    – ros666
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ @ros666 Maybe STEP->OBJ->Blender->DAE will preserve colors per robotics.stackexchange.com/a/27831/33390 $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 12:01
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I use CAD Assistant(https://www.opencascade.com/products/cad-assistant/) to convert STEP files into GLTF, and from there import the GLTF files into Blender for further processing and exporting to Collada and STL. It's a bit cumbersome, but for reducing the size and orienting the object correctly I've found this to be the easiest way..

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  • $\begingroup$ There is no need to be so troublesome, sw can directly export stl and wrl, and can directly give them to blender. The point is that I don't want to. Because the colors have already been created in my sw. I don’t want to paint anymore. $\endgroup$
    – ros666
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 9:09
  • $\begingroup$ GLTF preserves the colors, but yes, it is a bit troublesome.. If you find any good solutions let me know :) If you're using Windows I know Blender has a STEP importer add-on. Unfortunately it is not for Linux. $\endgroup$
    – berntyy
    Commented Jan 2 at 12:17

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