The Synthesis Field Exporter is a standalone application available in Autodesk Inventor to export fields into Synthesis. Although the Field Exporter is primarily used for internal use, this tutorial will walk you through the steps to export your field.
The Synthesis Field Exporter can be a valuable tool for teams seeking to enter the new Game Design Challenge for the 2021 FRC Season. Using the exporter teams can take their field designs from Inventor and convert them into glTF files to be used in the Synthesis Engine or other 3D viewers. Once loaded into Synthesis teams can test their field designs and game elements using sample robots.
To get started, you will need to have Synthesis 22.214.171.124 and Autodesk Inventor installed as listed in the previous step.
To install the Standalone Field Exporter, you will need to make sure you have selected the "Field Exporter" checkbox in the Synthesis 126.96.36.199 Setup.
After completing the installation, the Synthesis Field Exporter will create a shortcut to your Desktop. Note that before running the exporter, you will first need to open a CAD file in Inventor.
Before running the exporter, begin by opening your CAD file in Inventor.
We will primarily work on the Property Sets tab to configure our custom field properties in the next section.
In this section, we will prepare our field CAD model in Autodesk Inventor so our model is ready for the Synthesis Field Exporter.
Before you get started, verify that your CAD model assembly is ready to export. In order to export specific attributes of your field, some elements in your field may need to be moved to the top-level assembly of your model.
What is the top-level assembly? The top-level assembly is the "parent" assembly which is used to manage the parts and sub-assemblies within it. This is particularly common with large assembly management.
Example Top-Level Assembly: FRC 2020 Field.iam
In this FRC 2020 Field.iam, we can see a list of parts and assemblies that are at the top-level, including the green highlighted assembly as shown in the image.
Here are some common parts and assemblies to include in your top-level assembly:
Floors and Walls
Game Specific Structures
Gamepieces or Dynamic Objects
Sometimes when you utilize a CAD model or STEP file, there are nested objects (e.g. the Power Cell balls are nested in this structure.) To correct that, you will need to open the assembly and drag that object to the top-level assembly:
You will want to repeat this process for any elements on your field that your robot will interact with (don't forget about the floors and walls too.)
It can be helpful to think of your field in sections. This makes it easier to configure various properties relating to the meshes that make up the 3D CAD model. Let's take a look at this field.
This field has a few different sections: floors and walls, gamepieces, and goals. Now that we have different sections of our fields, we will want to think of them in ways we can configure their 3D properties. For example, the floors and walls are "box-like" whereas these gamepieces are spherical. Here are some common properties that people configure for their fields:
To begin, click on the "Property Sets" tab in the Synthesis Field Exporter. There will be no property sets created yet so you can begin by clicking on the "Create" button in the center.
The first property set we are going to create are static floors and walls.
Once you give your property set a name, hit "OK". Next, click the "Select in Inventor" button. Click and select all the floors and walls in your top-level assembly. For this field, we will be selecting all the floors and walls (including the red and blue alliance wall.)
Back in the Synthesis Field Exporter, click on "Add Selection".
Those selected objects should now be populated in the Synthesis Field Exporter. Note that on the right hand side, there are various property options. For the static floors and walls, we can leave it as default (Collider Type: Box, Friction: 50/100).
Next we will be setting some properties for dynamic objects, like gamepieces.
Once you give your property set a name, hit "OK". Next, click the "Select in Inventor" button. Click and select all the gamepieces that are of a similar type. In this example, we will be creating a property set for all the spherical gamepieces and name them "Power Cells".
Back in the Synthesis Field Exporter window, click "Add Selection."
In the Property Set Options, we will need to assign some attributes for the Mesh Properties and Physical Properties:
Because we are working with dynamic objects, be sure to also check the "Dynamic" box and configure your dynamic properties:
Let's create one last property set for our goals.
Select the red and blue alliance goals in Inventor.
Back in the Synthesis Field Exporter window, click "Add Selection".
Since we are working with a Mesh Collider, we will need to update our Property Set options:
If you have accidentally assigned an object in Inventor to two property sets in the Synthesis Field Exporter, you will be prompted to move it to your most recently created property set. You can either confirm or cancel your move.
In the "Export" tab of the Synthesis Field Exporter, click the "Browse" button to locate the
C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Synthesis\Fields\ directory. In this directory, create a new folder with the name for your new field. Then, click the "Export" button to complete the export process.
After exporting your custom field or environment, you can launch Synthesis to open your field. Once you are running synthesis, you can click on the "Change Field" button which will open a menu of available fields.
Click on the field you would like to open then press "Change." It may take a few minutes for your field to load.
You have now completed the Synthesis Field Exporter tutorial.