Add a Biomechanical Body Part

The way that you add a biomechanical body part and joint has changed from how it was done in version 1 of the application. There are a few different ways to add a body part now. The first is to clilck the Add part button while the biomechanical editor window is open. If this is the root part then it will immediately open the Add part dialog window shown in figure 1. This will allow you to select the type of rigid body part you want to add. For a complete description of the types of parts you can add please see the biomechanical parts page. There are several options to set for the body part. It can either be a collision object, or a graphics object. If it is a graphics object then it will be visible, but will have no dynamics or collisions within the system. If it is a collition object then you can also check the Sensor box. If this is checked then it will detect collsions, but have no other dynamic interaction with your system. This allows you to add a given part onto your organism as a contact sensor part. It will move around with the object and detect collisions, but it will not have a density or mass. Finally, collision objects can also have a graphics object automatically added for them. This is useful if you want to create a collision item that is a different shape or size than the graphics item will be. However, I have pretty much quite using this unless it is that odd case. If the collision and graphics objects are going to be the same size it is easier to just set the collision object to also be visible in the graphics views.

If this is not the root part then once you have clicked the add part button nothing will happen yet. You must then click on another part in the scene that you want to use as the parent. This will then open the add part dialogs, and add the given part to the chosen parent.

Another method for adding a part is to right click on that item in the workspace and select "Add child part", or to right click on the structure/organism and select "Add root part". This will open the add part dialog shown below


 Figure 1. Add Body Part Dialog


Once you have selected your part and configured it, then you should hit ok. If you have selected a collision object that is not a sensor and not a root part, then it will next open the Select joint type dialog shown in figure 2. This dialog allows you to select the type of joint you want to use to connect this part to its parent. For a full description of the types of joints please look at the joints page.


 Figure 2. Add Joint Dialog