Although use of this information and these parts is free,
please consider contributing at least your first model/instructions
back to Hobbyvex.org for the Robots page.
Robot .ldr files can be emailed to webmaster AT hobbyvex DOT org for posting on this website.
CAD Thread on VexForum
The basis of this endeavor is the excellent and free MLCAD
program. Starting with the files on the vexcad.com site and with
a whole lot of help from a friend creating missing parts, a very usable
set has already been converted for use within MLCAD using the awesome
program. MLCAD is part of the LDRAW set of tools
which includes the ability to turn a model into a nearly professionally
drawn instruction set.
Many thanks go again to my friend for helping me figure out how to use SolidWorks. Thanks also go to the folks at the Robotics Academy for allowing the use of their SolidWorks models as the basis for some of my parts. You can find their originals at their Vex Curriculum page.
Unfortunately, the 2.0 parts are not compatible with those in the 1.0 package. Some of the previous parts have been replaced. Many new parts have been added (77 total.) All of the files have been renamed to be compatible with the 8.3 naming requirements in the LDraw.org package. The part names visible in MLCad have been modified to organize the parts better. With 77 parts it is very helpful to do that.
The good news is that I wrote a script to rename all the old parts to their new names. With a little work you can convert all old files to the new parts easily. If you have models based on the old parts, go to this page for update instructions.
For version 2.0, I decided that small size and fast load time was more important than photo-realistic rendering. I put quite a bit of effort into cutting these parts down to size. However, that means that they will not always look exactly like the original parts. In particular, the wheels look nothing like the real wheels. On the other hand, MLCad loads all 77 parts in under a minute on my machine. There may be a way to swap higher fidelity parts into a completed model. Send email to webmaster AT hobbyvex DOT org if you care about this. I'm going to assume low fidelity is just fine if nobody sends email :-)
NOTE: If your installer is not 47.3 MB you will need to restart your download to get the rest of it or else start all over downloading it.
NOTE: If your installation does not have an mlcad.ini file in the mlcad directory, you can get a copy of it here. If you don't see file extensions like ".ini" you can either turn that on in your OS or look for a file type of "Configurations".
NOTE: The new parts have different filenames that conform to 8.3 naming. See the instructions on updating if you need to convert an old model to the 2.0 parts.
Here are the STL Sources for the 2.0 parts. The SLDPRT files are still not ready.
Thanks to the folks at vexcad.com for providing a number of models on
their site. A special thanks also to my friend for creating all
the other parts in the set!!
If you would like to help
create new parts or you know how to improve the existing parts, please
dive right in. Send any updates to webmaster A T hobbyvex D O T
org. Go to the stl2dat.exe
page for the converter tool and instructions on its use. In the
end, we created STL files with a base unit of millimeters and then I
used this script to convert them to properly
scaled LDRAW dat files.
Once you have built your model, you can create quick and dirty building instructions by going to the File menu and choosing "Save Image(s)...". An image will be generated for each STEP you insert in your model and saved in the directory the model lives in (<LDRAW>/Models by default.)
Similarly, a parts list can be generated by going to the File menu and choosing "Save Parts List...". You can save the overall parts list or have it broken down by step. This file is also saved with your model.
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