Preparations #

Each robot manufacturer has its own definition of how tools should be mounted on the flange. This definition MUST always be adhered to, otherwise, the tool orientations will be incorrect. Examples:


Tools in the simulation must be mounted with the correct “foundation” and imported. The position and orientation of the tool must be clearly defined.

If no clear mounting position/orientation on the flange can be found, a position including orientation should be defined. Ideally, it will be defined at 0 degrees, if that is not possible, rotate in 90-degree steps. Odd rotations usually lead to mistakes in thinking.

Put the robot in the cannon position (calibration position). This way, you can compare the position and rotation of the tool on the simulation model in RoboDK and on the real robot.

Prepare the CAD drawing #

A CAD model of your tool is needed for the optimal result.

The tool must be correctly prepared geometrically with an adapter plate, docking system, etc., but without screws, hoses, or other mounting elements. Only the correct geometry and size of the tool are needed.

In the CAD file, the coordinate system of the tool must be placed in the middle of the flange. Pay attention to the rotation of the coordinate system:

Z-axis: on the flange and on the tool (mounting surface) should point in the same direction. The origin of both coordinate systems should also coincide.

X and Y axes should also be adapted to the directions on the flange.

Start with a straight tool first! It is (at the beginning) much easier to set up than a tool with an angle!

Export your CAD drawing #

Then export the CAD drawing of the tool as a STEP file (.step or .stp). 

The file size should be under 50MB. If the file is larger, experience has shown that it can cause crashes in RoboDK or lead to incorrect memory processes. Therefore, once again: fastening and connecting elements of the tool should only be exported if they are absolutely necessary for “assembly” in the simulation. In any other case please hide them and do not export for this purpose.

Import tools in color #

*.igs files are even imported with colors

*.stl files significantly reduce the file size, as they only depict the “surface”. However, these are rather suitable only for visualization.

Once the CAD file has been prepared, it should be mounted on the robot in RoboDK.

  1. Right-click on the robot in the structure tree
  2. Add Tool TCP from File
  3. Select tool file

After successful import (if the CAD file was correctly prepared), the tool will be mounted.

Once the tool has been imported, further adjustments to the position or TCP can be made.

To change the geometric position, click on More Options.

Saving occurs automatically

The new values will be automatically saved. Take care, you do not change the values accidentally!

Save your own tool #

The fully configured tool can be saved by right-clicking → Save as. TCP and location are saved with it.

CAD Plugins #

There are RoboDK plugins for several CAD systems. If you import files using the CAD plugins, the previously described (empirical) 50 MB restrictions do not apply.

Check out the plugins here: RoboDK CAD Plugins

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