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Announcing SolidWorks to URDF Exporter 1.5

It is my pleasure to announce that we’ve made a huge update to the SolidWorks URDF Exporter. A big thank you is due to Verb Surgical for inspiring and supporting the work and also to the team at PickNik Consulting.

From Verb Surgical:

The original ROS SolidWorks URDF Exporter has been a vital tool for many robotics teams to close the loop on mechanical design and software control, and Verb Surgical is no different.

We saw a few things we can do to make it much easier for us to close the gap between mechanical design and software controls, and decided to improve the exporter by adding several important features to facilitate exporting from large SolidWorks assemblies, and we are happy to share the tool back with the community!

These new features identified by Verb are included in over 61 new merged Pull Requests. Some of the biggest:

  • All custom inputs you add to your URDF configuration are now saved internally. No longer will you have to re-input joint limits or other hand-entered items.
  • Optionally export the URDF without creating meshes. Have some meshes that you already like? Now you can just quickly update the URDF with a handy new button!
  • Import/Export from a CSV file: For some larger robot models, it’s not practical to track all properties in the SolidWorks model. Now you can import specific properties, like existing meshes, mass/inertia properties or joint information from a CSV file.
  • Unit and integration testing: New tests will help ensure that new code is validated against existing SW model examples.
  • Tons of bug fixes!

We’ve also taken this opportunity to migrate from BitBucket to Github hosted under the ROS organization.

Please see the wiki for a download link and more information.

Again, thank you to Verb Surgical and PickNik, but also thank you to the large number of users who continue to use this tool. I never could have imagined my Willow Garage intern project would be so widely used today!

About Verb Surgical
Verb Surgical, along with physicians and administrators, is creating the future of surgery. A future with improved patient outcomes, better information and greater hospital efficiency around the world. Our mission is to “democratize surgery” globally. Verbs are known to connect someone who does with something that needs doing. In the future, our actions will connect surgeons to an end-to-end platform for surgery, including pre-operative planning, intra-operative decision making and post-operative care.

About PickNik Consulting
PickNik is supporting the worldwide open source robotics movement through community building, consulting expertise, and the development of highly-capable motion planning software. PickNik combines world-class robotics expertise and state of the art open source robotics frameworks to save you time and money.

About Stephen Brawner
Stephen Brawner is the original developer and current maintainer of the SolidWorks URDF Exporter. An experienced researcher in robotics and AI with code deployed on real-world robots, Stephen offers the know-how and insight to tackle a wide array of projects.


Great work. This will be very useful.

I waited a long time for it! Great work!